By Our Reporter

Uganda People’s Defence Forces-UPDF has received an overwhelming number of youths interested in serving as Local Defence Unit-LDU personnel. The force received more than 25,000 applications during a five-day nationwide exercise that started on August 28, to fill 10,500 available slots.

UPDF deputy spokesperson Ronald Kakurungu said that they have been shortlisting candidates who met the requirements and names of successful people have already been pinned at district noticeboards.

But he adds that they still had hundreds of extra applications at the districts and divisions, by the end of the period of receiving applications.

Interested persons had to be unmarried citizens of Uganda, in possession of a National Identity Card, a Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE obtained in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and with a certificate of good conduct. Holders of artisan certificates, professional degrees, diploma holders in civil engineering, electrical engineering as well those with vocational skills and medical qualifications were equally encouraged to join the force.

“We went through this application in order to produce a shortlist. We finally got the best and names have been submitted at the districts headquarters. We continue to ask those who applied to go and checkout for their names,” Kakurungu said.

LDUs undergo four months basic military training. President Yoweri Museveni ordered for recruitment of LDUs in 2018 following the back to back murders that included the use of guns, machetes and kidnap for ransom.

UPDF started by recruiting and training 6,000 LDUs for Kampala metropolitan that include Kampala city, Wakiso and Mukono district. About five months later, UPDF recruited more than 12,000 who were deployed in upcountry places.

Although it is not yet clear why UPDF is recruiting more LDUs, security sources said the new ones will be deployed in areas that have registered back to back gun violence such as Karamoja which has continuously registered incidents of cattle rustling, thefts and robberies.