The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) will recruit 2,000 graduates, the Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, revealed at the weekend.
Gen Muhoozi, the First Son and Land Forces Commander, made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday.
“As Commander Land Forces of UPDF and on the instructions of the Commander in Chief [President Museveni], I declare that we need 2,000 graduates in the next recruitment. We shall ensure they are the right people for the job. They will serve our great country just like we did. God bless Uganda!” Lt Gen Muhoozi tweeted.
The last time the army recruited such a big number of graduates was in 2001.
Efforts to reach Lt Gen Muhoozi’s spokesman for a comment on the timeline of the recruitment were futile.
However, UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso, yesterday said she wasn’t privy to the presidential directive.
“I don’t have information about it. I am still finding out about that issue,” Brig Byekwaso said.
This will be Gen Muhoozi’s first recruitment of graduates as the Commander Land Forces.
It is alleged that in the late 1990s, he went to universities recruiting young people to join the army under the Local Defence Unit system.
Many of those who joined his group are in charge of the most critical units of the army.
Since 2017, UPDF has been recruiting soldiers in big numbers, especially auxiliary personnel.
In 2019, the army said they were recruiting more than 30,000 auxiliary personnel for election protection and urban crime. Tens of thousands of young people were recruited.
Two weeks ago, the army again started recruitment of 10,000 auxiliary personnel.
President Museveni recently said the strength of the military has grown again to the number it was in the 1990s due to new threats.
The terror threats of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels said to have been building bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, cattle rustling in Karamoja Sub-region and urban criminal activity are some of the issues that were raised by the Ministry of Defence as challenges the military must prepare to deal with.
While talking to France24, a French media house, two weeks ago President Museveni said he was interested in the deployment of troops in the DRC to be able to flush out ADF rebels.