The Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities Hon Tom Butime has described the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger recruitment process as transparent and successful after candidates alleged unfairness in the recruitment exercise.
While appearing before the Parliament on Thursday 14th July 2022, Minister Tom Butime revealed that allegations of unfair and discriminatory recruitment into UWA is taken seriously and condemned in the strongest terms.
According to the statement presented to parliament by the Minister, UWA advertised in newspapers for the 850 positions of rangers to be recruited between 4th – 8th July 2022 from 11 recruitment centers spread across the country.
The Minister observed that the requirements for persons qualifying to be recruited as rangers were clearly stated in the newspapers adverts and these were followed in the recruitment of 849 ranger recruits that have been dispatched for military training at Oliver Tambo UPDF training school.
He said that UWA received and registered a total of 10,138 applicants/ candidates interested in joining UWA as rangers at all the 11 recruitment centers and only 849 were successfully selected.
“Out of the 10,138 candidates, UWA was only able to select 849 comprised of 616 males and 233 females,” said the Minister.
A total of 108 districts were represented that represents a coverage of 79.4% of all the districts in Uganda which shows a general countrywide representation in the recruitment.
“Of the 108 districts represented, recruits from districts neighboring wildlife protected areas are 64.2% while those from other districts represents 36.9%,” said Hon. Butime.
Kasese had the highest number of recruits followed by kanungu, Rubirizi Districts all neighboring Queen Lizabeth National Park.
Minister Butime rubbished allegations of unfairness in the recruitment exercise, issues of nepotism, involvement of UPDF in UWA ranger recruitment and allegation of bribery during the recruitment process.
“UWA has a historical relationship with UPDF cemented through a Memorandum of Understanding. UPDF has been supporting UWA with training of rangers in para-military skills, arming UWA and through a Presidential Directive providing a force to protect tourists and tourism investments in the country,” the Minister added.
The Minister however acknowledged that there were some people who passed all stages and were not selected given the criteria that ended with medical tests.
“If for example 80 candidates qualified for medical tests, but only 50 were required, it means that the last 30 in the running order would not be taken despite doing a medical test,” Butime said.
Therefore, not everybody who went through all the stages passed because required number was limited.
He added that many candidates and their sponsors who missed out were not happy and will always make allegations which the Ministry does not take lightly and promised to investigate all acts of malpractice reported to ascertain culpability and where malpractices are proven, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.