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KDF turns away Lamu women hoping to enlist

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Women applicants for Kenya Defence Forces recruitment in Lamu are disappointed after they were once again left out of the exercise.

Lt. Colonel Paul Aruasa said they have enough lady recruits in the forces at the moment. Last year’s recruitment also locked out female hopefuls on similar grounds.

Aruasa however asked the ladies not to give up as there are still more recruitment opportunities in the future.

“Unfortunately this year we are not taking any ladies from Lamu. We know it’s a disappointment. But I know things will change in future,” Aruasa said. The ladies expressed frustration and wondered why KDF did not announce earlier that no female recruits would be absorbed this year.

For Loice Kazungu,23, this is the third time in a row that she is being turned away on grounds that no females are being recruited into the forces.

“This is my third time and I am so frustrated. I have run on this pitch every single year for the last three year. I scored C plain in KCSE and I meat all required standards of weight, height and general body well being. Every time they tell me they are not taking women, I just don’t understand why,” Kazungu said.

Susan Wangoi,35, and also a graduate of the National Youth Service wonders why she has never made the cut in the four times she has tried to be recruited. Aruasa asked those dreaming of joining the forces to ‘keep their bodies pure and natural’. He said many candidates who would have qualified had to be dropped because they had discolored teeth and some had tattoos.

The exercise was taking place at the Kibaki grounds on Lamu Island yesterday. The exercise attracted 200 applicants.

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out even being tried or allowed to go through the process itself. Instead of waiting until the recruitment day to tell us that we are not needed, they should make it clear from the word go so that we don’t even waste our time coming or hoping in the first place but this is just unfair. Does it mean the forces only need men or is it that people think women in the forces are a liability?,”she posed.

At least 200 young men and women turned up for the recruitment exercise.

This year however,discoloured teeth, tattoos and poor KCSE grades saw many fail to realize their dream of joining the forces.

Aruasa said many good candidates who would have otherwise qualified had to be dropped because they had discolored teeth while many others had tattoos.

It was established that the tooth discoloration was caused by Miraa chewing, a hobby for many youth in the region.

Aruasa however asked those dreaming of joining the forces to ‘keep their bodies pure and natural’.

“By this I mean, don’t alter your body in any way like tatoing yourself. Dont consume anything that changes the color of your teeth of any part of your visible body for that matter. Keep fit and ensure you score yourself some nice grades otherwise, you will never be able to join us. I have learnt that unfortunately many of our good recruits have discoloured teeth and have to be dropped,” Aruasa said.

He said many of the recruits had failed to attain the required weight of 54.5 kilograms for men and 50.0 kilograms for the women.

He also said many had failed to achieve the required KCSE aggregate grade of D Plain

“Many are underweight, some are just too skinny and it just doesn’t work for them.We also have cases of too many recruits who have scored below D plain and by this I mean D- and below.We surely cant help such unfortunately,” he said.

Ends…photos attached

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