Statement of the Minister of Internal Affairs on the Recruitment of Immigration Officer Trainees and Immigration Assistant Trainees
As you may be aware the exercise of recruitment of Immigration Officers and Immigration Assistants was approved by The Parliament and as such money which was meant for the wage was re-allocated to non-wage to cater for the recruitment exercise and training of 150 Immigration Officers’ Trainee (Graduate) and 150 Immigration Assistants Trainee.
The above decision was arrived at in view of the urgent need to secure our borders which are very porous and therefore require additional manning in order to fight transnational crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering, illicit arms trade, illegal entry and exit to mention but a few.
Having bench marked successful countries like Ghana, Malaysia, Australia, Canada and USA we established that the success story behind their specialised immigration services was due to the specialised training undertaken by their respective Officers. It is for that very reason that the Public Service Commission issued an advertisement in print media and on its website informing intending applicants that among others qualifying criteria would include physical fitness tests and health examination in order to prepare candidates for the nine months physical and specialised Immigration training, (a copy of the advertisement is to this communication for ease reference).
It is imperative to note that the whole exercise is being spearheaded by the Public Service Commission which after running adverts for the above positions received over 36,000 applications from aspiring young men and women. After conducting document check, age verification and other requirements the number was scaled down to 12,047 candidates with the age limit of 25-30 years for Immigration Officers Trainee and not more than 25 years for Immigration Assistants Trainee who underwent aptitude tests on 28th - 29th April, 2015. Thereafter 2134 qualified for the next stage of the physical fitness that was carried out on 22nd June, 2015 at Kololo.
A total of 956 were selected of which 400 are ladies who successfully made it on merit and are currently undergoing medical examinations and the oral interviews are to follow beginning on Monday 29th of June 2015 and are expected to run for a period of thirty days. Training is scheduled to commence on 1st August 2015. The training programme is scheduled to last nine (9) months.
It is not true therefore, to state t that expectant mothers were disqualified as appropriate communication had been made in advance in the advertisement. The fact is that as a precautionary measure, and before the ten kilometres run which was conducted on Monday 22nd June 2015, 53 expectant mothers who turned up for the exercise were requested to consult a Medical Doctor and counsellors from Uganda Red Cross who were on ground. They were logically advised that it was for their own safety as it would have been fatal for them, in their condition, to attempt to take on the ten kilometre run. The expectant mothers after getting expert advice voluntarily opted out, though a few may have been disgruntled with the decision taken in their favour and the safety of both the mother and the expected infant.
It is also worth noting that the whole exercise was conducted in a very transparent and open manner without bias or prejudice towards anybody and in case anyone has any grievances in relation to the conduct of the exercise, the Public Service Commission is willing to listen to them, and offer them appropriate expectations. It is inevitable that after an exercise of such a magnitude, there are some candidates who will not be satisfied with the outcome of the process.
We therefore wish to call for your continued support in the on-going drive of building a versatile Immigration service that will make our borders more secure, make post entry monitoring more professional and provide a service that will support and facilitate valuable investment in the country.
Gen. Aronda Nyakairima
MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Date: 25th June 2015