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As the race for the Central Executive Committee (CEC) top positions in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is heating up, former army spokesperson, Col.(Rtd) Shaban Bantariza has not been left behind by the wave. As the race for the Central Executive Committee (CEC) top positions in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) continues to heat up, former army spokesperson, Col.(Rtd) Shaban Bantariza has not been left behind by the wave. The deputy government spokesperson and deputy director of the Uganda Media Centre has announced his bid to stand as the NRM Vice chairperson in charge of the Western region. “Comrades, allies and friends in the common struggle to continually make Uganda qualitatively better, after some useful consultations, high and low, above and below, I have made a decision to offer myself for leadership as Vice-chairperson NRM, representing the Western region,”Bantariza said in a message to friends. When contacted for a comment, the former UPDF spokesperson said having spent most of his time as a political commissar, he feels he has all it takes to become a political leader “In my humble contribution to Uganda and NRA, I have been a political leader almost all my life. Right from 1985 in the bush, I have been political commissar for National Resistance Army and the UPDF,”Bantariza told the Nile Post in a phone interview on Monday evening. Abandoning studies at Makerere University, Bantariza joined the NRA rebels led by Yoweri Museveni in 1985. Speaking about his candidature, Bantariza said having contributed to the liberations struggle as a rebel, he can ably do so as the NRM Vice chairperson in charge of Western region. “I was the spokesperson of the UPDF for a decade. I definitely think the way i contributed to the ideology of the UPDF, I can ably mobilize the Western region to the betterment of Uganda for ideological, political and socio-economic transformation,” he said. “I find it incumbent on me as one of the historicals to reorient my own people where I come from and i feel I am strong enough to offer my services at that level. I want to mobilise and put back the principles nd values that NRM fought for.” Tight race Bantariza will face competition from the incumbent and Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi, Maj.Gen.Matayo Kyaligonza, State Minister for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, Dr Emmanuel Diini Kisembo , the executive director of Bunyoro Kitara Youth Initiative for Development and Alexander Akandwanaho Saleh, the son to Gen Salim Saleh.
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