Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 60 youths are stranded outside Soroti Administration block after losing money to unscrupulous persons who allegedly wanted to help them go through the LDU recruitment sieve.
The stranded group consists of both male and female youths from the districts of Serere, Kalaki, Soroti and Kaberamaido. One of the stranded boys, identified as Julius Ocan told URN that a number of paid money to men, dressed in UPDF uniforms to help them pass through the screening without any encumbrances.
He said the persons who took the money, came from the recruitment centres and took the particulars of whoever made a payment. There was no standard rate for the alleged offer, which forced the desperate youth to give out whatever they had. Many of them sacrificed their transport fare, for an opportunity to join the reserve force.
According to Ocan, some of them paid the money as their last hope after being eliminated in the drills and health checks.
James Okinu, another stranded youth from Kaberamaido district said that the person who took his money said it was going to the head of the recruitment team.
Francis Okwii, from Serere, said he and one of his colleagues jointly paid 100,000 Shillings to a soldier who directed them to stay at the district headquarters, where a vehicle would pick them and take them to Olilim, where the rest of the group was taken for training.
Charles Egonyu, an applicant from Kalaki said he lost 29,000 Shillings, part of which was supposed to be the transport fare for his return journey. He said that until this morning, he still hoped that he will be taken for the training.
This morning, some members of the public pooled money to transport some of the stranded youth to the districts where they came from.
Today the LDU recruitment exercise is being conducted in Kumi, before proceeding to Kapchorwa in Sebei sub-region on July 23, Sironko and Mbale on July 24 and Tororo, Butaleja and Pallisa from July 26 to 28.
The UPDF aims to recruit up to 13,000 personnel to boost the UPDF reserve force, from various parts of the country.