The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has announced a fresh recruitment exercise of 13,000 Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel from the central, eastern, northern and mid-western Uganda.
According to a statement issued by the land forces spokesperson, Lt. Col. Henry Obbo, the 17-day recruitment exercise starts on July 15.
“The recruitment is aimed at enhancing the existing foundation security arrangement in the country to ensure that the people and their property are secured at grassroots levels,” Obbo said.
The LDUs, Obbo added, will be trained in basic military skills before being deployed in their respective districts.
The UPDF yesterday also issued 10 requirements, including a national identity card, medical fitness, primary and O’level academic qualifications and a clean criminal record that citizens seeking to be recruited must present.
The call for fresh recruitment comes four months after 6,436 LDU personnel, who were recruited in October last year, were deployed in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts. The LDUs were trained at Oliver Tambo Military Training School in Kaweweta, Nakaseke district.
In his security address to the nation in September last year, President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the recruitment of 24,000 LDUs to among other things, beef up the Police, army and other security agencies.
For the start, Museveni suggested that the LDUs be deployed in an estimated 1,000 villages that make up Kampala, Wakiso, and parts of Mukono districts, where pockets of organized crime were evident at the time.
By calling up the reserves, Museveni said security presence, especially in urban centers, will be reinforced to counter city killings and plug up the gaps used by the killers.
“I have instructed that for the entire urban area, we will recruit 24,000 LDUs. It will cost us an extra sh57b, but that is not a problem,” Museveni said.
The high-profile assassinations that sent a wave of shock among the public domain include that of former Buyende district Police commander Muhammed Kirumira, former Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi and former Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga.
Others are Maj. Mohammed Kiggundu, senior principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi and Muslim clerics.
To tame the wave of urbanized crime, Museveni also ordered for the procurement and installation of CCTV cameras and also commissioned the national surveillance system co-ordination centre of the CCTV footage at Natete Police Station. Several CCTV cameras have since been mounted in various city centers in the city.