Scores of youths were turned away from Kenya Defence Forces recruitment centres in Lamu because of decaying teeth.
The KDF recruitment officer in charge of Lamu County, Zacharia Burudi, said more than 100 youths from five divisions of Lamu West who turned up during the exercise at Lamu Island’s Kibaki grounds were turned away due to the poor state of their teeth.
"We realised chewing of miraa had affected the teeth of the youths. Healthy teeth are one of the requirements for one to join KDF,” said Lieutenant Burudi.
He said some youths were sent home for having national identity cards that did not resemble the Kenyan ones. Others did not have the required academic qualifications, he added.
In Chaka town, Kieni constituency, few men and women aged between 18 and 26 turned up for the exercise, seeking to join the KDF as constables and tradesmen.
The officer in-charge of the recruitment at Chaka, SK Melanyi, was alarmed by the low numbers at the recruitment centre. “The youths we have spoken to say they are keeping off because they are discouraged as KDF picks only a small number of people to join,” he explained.
Lieutenant Colonel Melanyi also said most were waiting for the police recruitment later in the year, which they said admits recruits more people. He warned those hoping to circumvent the process through corruption to keep off or face consequences.
“The officers conducting this exercise will not tolerate any corruption. So far we have not had any attempts but we will remain vigilant,” he said.