Compiled By Markson Omagor
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has revealed that Col Shaban Bantariza died of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Speaking to the Media this morning, Ofwono Opondo said the Colonel’s death was a big blow to the party, given his loyalty and the fact that he had been appointed by President Museveni to help reconcile party members ahead of 2021.
The deputy executive director of Uganda Media Centre (UMC) died Tuesday morning 27th October 2020 at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted since Sunday.
Government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, who doubles as the UMC executive director told journalists that the former army spokesperson had died of Covid-19.
“He died at about 2am this morning from Mulago hospital where he had been admitted in the Intensive Care Unit since Sunday,” Mr Opondo said.
Bantariza had been complaining of chest pain, low blood pressure, low blood sugar and cough before he was admitted to hospital.
“He was first admitted in Mbuya Military Hospital on Friday from where he was taken to Victoria and then eventually transferred to Mulago after they had suspected he could have contracted Covid-19,” Mr Opondo added.
“His samples were tested and it was confirmed that he had contracted Covid-19.The postmortem has been done and it confirmed that he died of Covid-19,” Mr Opondo told journalists.
The NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, in a statement issued by the party senior communications manager, Mr Roger Mulindwa said “Col. Bantariza has been a loyal member of the NRM government and the party which he has served till his death. On Thursday last week, he was part of the 47 eminent Ugandans appointed by the Party National Chairman to carry out the reconciliation programs among our members. His area of operation was Butaleja, Busia and Kibuku districts. His commitment on duty and the honesty will highly be valued even after his departure.”
After picking the necessary facilitation for the exercise, Bantariza later felt unwell to travel and sent back the resources, according to Mr Mulindwa.
“A few days later, we received the sad news. We feel, Col Bantariza has gone too early and at a time we needed him most. May God give him eternal rest and the family the strength to bear this great pain,” Mr Mulindwa,” statement adds.
Bantariza’s death occurred just hours after the Ministry of Health Monday said they had registered 114 new virus infections as the confirmed cases rose to 11,557.
The virus has claimed 101 Ugandans since March this year when the outbreak was confirmed in the country.
At least 7,351 have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals across the country, according to an October 26 update by the Ministry of Health.
Joining Museveni’s NRA
While pursuing a course at Makerere University in 1985, he abandoned his studies and joined the National Resistance Army (NRA) then led by Yoweri Museveni.
He attended guerrilla bootcamp in the Kabarore area, in foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.
He also attended and graduated from the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College, having studied the senior command course offered annually at the college.