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Uganda:22-year army recruit dies during drills in Kamuli
Published on 18-10-2016 - at 02:24' by Daily Monitor

A prospective UPDF recruit in Kamuli District yesterday collapsed and died after rigorous drills dazed him, casting a gloom on the first of a nine-day nationwide enlistment.

A prospective UPDF recruit in Kamuli District yesterday collapsed and died after rigorous drills dazed him, casting a gloom on the first of a nine-day nationwide enlistment.

The 22-year-old Twaha Tondwa had travelled for the recruitment from the neighbouring Pallisa District, but he wobbled and fell to the ground after an 8-kilometre run, dying later at Kamuli Hospital.
“It is unfortunate we have lost one of the candidates to physical training examination,” Col Stephen Mugerwa, head of recruitment’s Team 5 said.

Cardiac arrest
Tondwa died of cardiac arrest, Col Mugerwa said, but we could not independently verify this claim.

Mr Awere Kaligo, the deceased’ father, said his son was upbeat about joining the armed forces inspite of the premature tragic end.
“It is God’s plan. My son has died pursuing his dream and, luckily, I witnessed it all.” he said, holding back tears.

The army in advertisement of the slots flagged physical fitness as a key requirement for prospective recruits. Following the death, recruiters abandoned plans of subjecting the candidates to push-ups, and instead gave them written interviews.

In Kampala, Col Jeff Kuppae Mukasa, the team leader for recruitment in central region, said they are giving priority to doctors and engineers in the ongoing enlistment.

The plan, he said, is to take up 200 medical workers, 200 engineers, 50 teachers and 40 information and communication experts over the next eight days.

Why Professionals
Asked why they were targeting health workers and engineers this time round, Defence and Military Spokesman, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, said it is part of professionalising the army.

“If you have to fill manpower gaps, then you have to plan for it,” he said, adding that they had slots for wide array of servicemen and women.

This year, the army intends to draft about 3,000 recruits.

Requirements
All recruits are required to undergo mandatory HIV/Aids and cancer screening, although it remained unclear if having either or both of the diseases would lead to automatic disqualification.

In a related development, police yesterday arrested a 29-year-old UPDF deserter from a lodge in Soroti Town over allegations he fleeced six unsuspecting youth eager to join the military on the pretext that he will get them the jobs.

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Military police officer supervises professional recruits into UPDF at Kololo Independence Grounds on Monday.

Kwamamaza
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