Uganda has mourned the passing of Col. (Rtd) Shaban Bantariza, the deputy executive director of the Uganda Media Centre.
He died of low blood pressure on Tuesday morning, according to the state minister for ICT and National Guidance Peter Ogwang.
“It's a sad morning having been informed by the family about the death of Col Shaban Bantariza, the deputy government spokesperson. He has been having low blood pressure. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” the minister tweeted.
The 56-year-old, who had been the deputy government spokesman since 2013, had been admitted to Mulago Hospital.
Before joining Uganda Media Centre, Col. Batarinza had served the army in different capacities, including as commandant of the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi, Kyankwanzi District.
He was a spokesperson for the Uganda People’s Defence Force twice: from 1995 to 1997 and from 2001 to 2006.
Born in Mitooma District, Col. Shaban Batarinza went to St. Leo's College, Kyegobe for ‘O’ Level education before joining the Catholic brotherhood to train as an elementary school teacher.
In 1985, while at Makerere University, he dropped out to join the National Resistance Army, which brought the current government to power.
At the rank of lieutenant colonel, he served as the commander of the Oliver Tambo Leadership School in Kaweweta, Nakaseke District.
A number of Ugandans, including Minister of ICT Peter Ogwang and Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine took to social media to mourn his passing.
It's a sad morning having been informed by the family about the death of Col Shaban Bantariza, the Deputy Government Spokesperson.— Peter Ogwang (@OgwangOgwang) October 27, 2020
He has been having low blood pressure.
May his soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/LUmvi65VEP
Farewell thee Afande .You served your country unreservedly. You gave your best while you lived .We shall dearly miss you Col Bantariza https://t.co/bFmpIM6nZZ— Dr. Diana Atwine (@DianaAtwine) October 27, 2020
SAD NEWS: The Executive Director, @OfwonoOpondo with deep sorrow announces the death of his Deputy, Col @ShabanBantariza that occurred early this morning at Mulago Hospital where he had been in admission since Sunday evening with hypertension. pic.twitter.com/IL8v1RxeyC— Uganda Media Centre (@UgandaMediaCent) October 27, 2020
The UPDF family with great sadness have learnt of the passing on of the deputy Executive director of Uganda media centre and deputy government spokesman Rtd Col Shaban Bantariza at Mulago national referral hospital. May his soul rest in peace.— Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso (@UPDFspokespersn) October 27, 2020
I hereby with deep sorrow regret to announce the death of my Deputy @ShabanBantariza that occurred early this morning at Mulago Hospital where he had been in admission since Sunday with hypertension.— Ofwono Opondo P'Odel (@OfwonoOpondo) October 27, 2020
Courtesy Photo: pic.twitter.com/uAgkdFSlBH