The deputy executive director of Uganda Media Centre, Col Shaban Bantariza passed on today morning at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
“I hereby with deep sorrow regret to announce the death of my Deputy Shaban Bantariza that occurred early this morning at Mulago Hospital where he had been in admission since Sunday with hypertension,” Mr Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of Uganda Media Centre tweeted Tuesday morning.
Bantariza served as the UPDF spokesperson from 2000 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006. Prior to February 2009, Batanzira, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, served as the commander of the Oliver Tambo Leadership School, in Kaweweta, Nakaseke District. On February 26, 2009, he was appointed commandant of the National Leadership Institute (NALI), in Kyankwanzi, Kyankwanzi District.
He served in that capacity until he was relieved of his duties on October 7, 2011.
In June 2013, he was appointed deputy executive director of the National Media Centre.
On July 2, 2013, at the rank of colonel, he was arrested, charged with embezzlement and remanded to Makindye Military prison by the General Court Martial on charges of alleged fraud.
After proceedings that lasted nearly three years, the Court Martial, then chaired by Major General Levi Karuhanga, on April 14, 2015 acquitted Colonel Bantariza on grounds of lack of evidence against him.
Batanzira was born in Mitooma District in Western Uganda.
He attended St. Leo’s College, Kyegobe, in Fort Portal, Kabarole District for his O-Level studies before joining the Catholic brotherhood, where he trained as an elementary school teacher.
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.