By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
The government of Uganda, together with the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), have announced a tentative burial programmed for Rtd. Col. Shaban Bantariza, who was the deputy government spokesperson and deputy Executive Director of the Uganda Media Centre, who passed away on Tuesday.
Col. Bantaliza died of COVID-19 after having been admitted to Mulago National Referral Hospital for a few days.
On Wednesday October 28th, 2020, government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo announced that after consultation with the UPDF leadership, they had agreed that the fallen soldier will be laid to rest on Thursday at his ancestral home in Mitooma District, at 11:00 Am, and that the funeral organisers will follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines.
“A gallant soldier goes to rest, Col. Bantariza will be buried this Thursday in Mitooma district at 11.00 a.m. under COVID-19 guidelines. Only family members and a few friends [will be] permitted at the burial site,” Ofwono Opondo tweeted on Wednesday.
He continued that; “Unfortunately there won’t be a vigil in Kampala. Thanks for all the condolence messages.”
In his condolence message, President Yoweri Museveni tweeted thus; “I received the sad news of the death of Col. Shaban Bantariza, the Deputy Government Spokesperson. He was a dedicated cadre who worked for Uganda’s liberation and development. He was eloquent as he spoke for the UPDF and government. Condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.
Bantaliza has been a faithful servant of this government, defending its every cause and action, oftentimes exchanging words with members of the opposition in a way they feel he exhibited arrogance.
He is among the 103 COVID-19 deaths in Uganda out of 11,621 confirmed cases since the first infection was confirmed in March this year.
Meanwhile, Opondo also revealed that a Condolence Book has been opened at the Uganda Media Centre for the public to pay their respects to late Col. Shaban Bantariza. The book will be available for the next two weeks.
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