As Ugandans woke up Tuesday morning to the shocking news of the passing of Col Shaban Bantariza, scores took to social media to mourn and commiserate with the bereaved family.
Col Bantariza, who has been serving as the Deputy Government spokesperson since 2015 succumbed to Hypertension at Mulago Referral Hospital.
He was aged 57.
Presidential Advisor and former Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba praised the deceased for his performance when he served as the UPDF spokesperson years ago.
“He was our UPDF spokesperson in the early 2000s, during the difficult days of the LRA insurgency in north and north eastern Uganda,” Muhoozi said.
“He performed excellently. We shall miss you, comrade.”
Bantariza was the army spokesperson from 2000 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006.
Other mourners who took to social media include Uganda Police Chief Political Commissar AIGP Assan Kasingye, Twitted, “Jesus. Take over my grief. I can’t take it anymore. I will miss our behind doors discussions to shape Social Media. Comrade, I promise to soldier on. RIP”
The UPDF Spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso said the army fraternity was saddened by the news
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 have learnt with shock the death of a great lion, Col. Shaban Bantariza. He embodied the liberal spirit of UPDF. As it’s spokesman he was a regular on my KFM radio show, Andrew Mwenda Live, where he faced heavy fire but held is ground with tenacious zeal & took no offense. RIP pic.twitter.com/VXaArxTFfH
— Andrew M. Mwenda (@AndrewMwenda) October 27, 2020
Sad sad day. A heavy dark cloud hangs above us.
— Don Wanyama (@nyamadon) October 27, 2020
This is Sad OO. Am hurt. What terrible morning news? God have mercy! https://t.co/x2ErIA49Je
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP : Psalms 124 : 1-8 (@FrankTumwebazek) October 27, 2020
— Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo (@UCC_ED) October 27, 2020
I will truly miss Colonel Shaban Bantariza. He was one of the free flowing and self styled few government officials on these social media streets. He has always responded to every query in a polite and humble way! He has never been a proud man.
May his soul R.I.P😭
— Wabuyi Moses Alex Dux (@DuxWabuyi) October 27, 2020
— gaddafi nassur (@gaddafinassur) October 27, 2020
Accept my condolences to the UPDF family for the death of Col (Rtd) Shaban Bantariza. Shaban was a great sport, practiced a consistent public spirit of debate,an invaluable contribution to civil-military relations both in front of the camera and behind it . #RIP @UPDFspokespersn https://t.co/cSVHcT74hV
— Angelo Izama (@Opiaiya) October 27, 2020