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Brown teeth keep aspiring KDF soldiers off recruitment

RIFT VALLEY
By Antony Gitonga | September 29th 2015
A Kenya Defense Force soldier examines documents of some of the recruits who turned up for KDF recruitment at Kihoto Grounds in Naivasha. The event was marked with low turnout as it emerged that women were not being recruited in the area. PHOTO: Antony Gitonga

NAKURU: Once beaten twice shy. That was the silent message that hundreds of jobless youth in Naivasha sent to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) when they failed to turn up for its recruitment drive in the town.

KDF recruitment officers were taken aback when, unlike in other places, only a handful people turned up at Kihoto grounds for the exercise.

The officer in charge of the recruitment, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Melanyi, said it was disheartening to see only a few youths turned up despite the exercise being widely publicised.

But what the officer did not know is that most of the youths know that they stand no chance of joining the military, thanks to their coloured teeth. 

In the past, most aspirants in Naivasha have suffered heartbreak after they were sent home due to dental fluorosis, due to high levels of fluoride in the water in the area.

But although most youth with brown teeth gave the exercise a wide berth, some still turned up—and they were turned away.

"Most of them have the condition while others had plucked teeth and as you all know we cannot take them into the force," Melanyi said.

"Some of the youths who even arrived here on time were underweight and we had no option other than to turn them back," he added.

But the most disturbing thing is that there was not even a single female in the final list of recruits.

Asked why, the officer said: "These are details that I will only disclose at the end of this exercise but for now we are doing the medical for the final youths who emerged the best in the race," he said.

Two weeks ago hundreds of women who turned up for  recruitment exercise in Bomet were turned away.

An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity claimed women are weak and can not cope in an active combat. "Even those we already have are being taken to various courses like hospitality as they have shown they cannot participate in war," the source said.

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