KAWEWETA– At least 6626 recruits for the Local Defense Units (LDUs), a force aimed at curbing criminality in the Kampala Metropolitan Area have started training at Kaweweta Military Training School in Nakaseke District.
The training is being conducted by Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
Mr Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson said the training will be conducted for four consecutive months before the recruits will be absorbed into the reserve force and deployed in different communities in Wakiso and Kampala.
“Today, (Tuesday) the first phase of the successful recruited LDUs began their 4 months training at Kaweweta Military Training School. Thanks to the people who responded to the President’s call despite the public de-campaign from some elements in the opposition,” Mr Opondo told journalists.
During the one-week recruitment exercise announced by the UPDF, over 70 percent of people who turned up were rejected over poor health starts especially hepatitis B.
The recruitment followed a presidential directive to UPDF to recruit the security personnel as a stop-gap measure for insecurity in the Kampala Metropolitan Area.
This followed the shooting dead of senior police officer Muhammad Kirumira, President Museveni directed the deployment of 24,000 Local Defense Unit security personnel and release of Uganda Sh 57b to fight urban criminals in Kampala and Wakiso districts.
While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on defence and Internal Affairs, defense ministry officials informed the MPs that the successful LDUs, which will be under the command of the UPDF and that they will be deployed in areas of residence in support of the Police.
They also added that LDUs will conduct patrols within the villages, file patrol reports, incident first and quick response and information gathering.
Gen David Muhoozi, the UPDF Chief of Defence Forces explained that before deployment, the LDUs will go through thorough training and mentorship by the field operational commanders.
“The dress code for LDUs will be the UPDF gazette Uniform to ease identity. In the day to day operations, LDUs will work in liaison with Police, the LC1 Chairpersons and secretaries for defense in their assigned areas of operation,” Muhoozi said.
He assured the MPs that the Arms and ammunition given to the LDUs will be controlled and secured centrally as per UPDF standing operational procedures