By SAMMY JAKAA
They were turned away after recruiting officers declined to accept their certificates, arguing that the Kenya Defence Forces only recognises the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) certificates.
Lieutenant Colonel Isaiah Kangor, the senior recruitment officer, said they could not equate the certificates from Uganda, adding that it was only the Ministry of Education mandated to interpret foreign certificates.
“It is unfortunate that very many youth have been locked out of the exercise because they hold Ugandan papers. Our requirement was a ‘D’plain and we cannot equate the foreign certificates as it can only be done by the ministry,” said Kangor.
Kangor asked the Ministry of Education to assist the youth who were turned down to participate in future exercises.
He also commended the residents for being co-operative during the exercise, which he said was a success.
However, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) has faulted the exercise, terming it gender insensitive.
Teso North MYWO Chairperson Mary Okedi said that gender parity was supposed to be observed in the recruitment, adding it was against the Constitution to take only one girl and eight men.
“The Constitution demands that not more than two thirds should be of either gender. Since they were taking nine people then they should have at least three girls,” said Okedi.
But Kangor said the nature of the job would not allow them to follow gender equity, adding that the armed forces needed more men than women.
A large number of youth also missed opportunity to participate in the exercise due to delayed identification cards. Kangor said waiting cards could not be used as national IDs are always retained by the army.