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Military officer questioned over recruit's firing

BUSIA
By | November 16th 2010

By DAVID OCHAMI

Vice-Chief of General Staff Major General Julius Karangi was grilled by MPs over the controversial dismissal of a military recruit.

Major Karangi said 24 recruits including Gladys Chepkechei Tarus were expelled from the college for various reasons. He told Parliament’s Defence and Foreign Relations Committee that two other women were sent away for failing the pregnancy test.

And the military gynaecologist who examined Gladys before her expulsion from military training college in Eldoret has said he detected ‘appreciable levels of the pregnancy.’

Lieutenant Colonel Dr Edward Odongo Osewe said yesterday he conducted an accurate BHCG pregnancy test, but warned that although the hormone can be detected within seven days of conception "there are times you can fail to pick it". Apparently Gladys was not pregnant when first tested on recruitment.

Integrity test

The Chief of Personnel at the Department of Defence (DoD) Brigadier Gordon Kihalangwa said ten recruits were expelled for presenting falsified ID cards. Documents showed that about half of those rejected at RTC on October 25 were found to suffer colour blindness, which was not detected at the basic recruitment exercise.

Evidence to the committee shows that Mercy Wanyama, Susan Waithaka and Denver Oliver Ogutu Onyango are among recruits expelled from RTC for failing the integrity test.

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"The military is about integrity," Defence Minister Muhamed Yusuf Haji declared and added that, "the DoD cannot entrust the security of this country in the hands of those who fail the integrity test".

Lt Col Osewe told the committee he conducted two "dry chemistry" tests on Glady’s urine samples and detected the hormone, which led a panel of military doctors to conclude she was pregnant.

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