The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) recruitment team in Lira has failed to meet its target after several applicants tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases.
The two-day exercise targeted 495 recruits from the districts of Amolatar, Alebtong, Otuke, Dokolo, and Lira. However, only 299 applicants passed the test.
The applicants were subjected to written and physical exercises, including a five-kilometre run and medical tests for high blood pressure, hepatitis B, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis and gonorrhoea. Those found to be positive were automatically disqualified.
Steven Mugerwa, the recruitment team leader in Lira, says the general turn-up was high but most candidates, especially females, were disqualified after they tested positive for different illnesses, mostly STDs. Only 44 female applicants passed the test at the end of the exercise on Friday evening.
However, some candidates were disqualified on grounds that they had faked academic documents, had physical disabilities, or were of advanced age. Mugerwa is, however, concerned that despite the disqualifications, fewer females are generally showing interest in joining the force.
But Winifred Constance Akello, a secondary school teacher who graduated from college early this year, believes that the process was not fair because she was disqualified even without checking her documents.
Kizito Edola, a resident of Dokolo, also missed the chance because he arrived late at the recruitment venue, while Peter Odongo, a resident of Lira District, was disqualified because of a mismatch in his date of birth on the National Identity Card and academic documents.
Successful candidates have been transported to Kaweweta Recruit Training School in Nakaseke District.