Easter Monday marked the end of a life dedicated to the conservation of wildlife, as Moses Mapesa, former Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, succumbed to a long battle with cancer.
Moses, subject to a witch hunt during his term of office by a former Tourism and Wildlife Minister, Kahinda Otafiire, was respected at home, in the region and internationally, where he made many appearances to raise funds and lobby for support towards Uganda’s wildlife resources. Both during his reign at UWA and afterwards he served on boards of leading conservation NGO’s and worked as a wildlife / conservation consultant until Leukemia took its toll and necessitated regular hospitalization.
Treated both in the United States and then again at home, Moses was showing signs of improvements following a bone marrow transplant, but more recently his condition had deteriorated again, making him too weak to travel abroad for renewed specialized treatment.
Moses showed an exemplary understanding of the challenges to restore a viable rhino population in Uganda, which the Rhino Fund Uganda spearheads, and served on the board of directors in an ex officio capacity. Ever ready to throw his weight behind the rhino breeding project he was on several occasions the one who helped turn the tide in the face of adversity.
His passing comes less than two weeks after Johan Genade, the late husband to the Rhino Fund / Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Executive Director Angie Genade also succumbed to cancer, robbing Uganda of two dedicated conservationists in the space of just a few days.