It is believed the former UWA executive director was suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder that affects the bone marrow. Mapesa was diagnosed with the disease in 2008 when he traveled to South Africa for an operation.
In 1988 Mapesa started his research in Uganda National Parks and slowly rose through the ranks working as a warden at Queen Elizabeth National Park and as a chief warden at Kidepo National Park.
His career in administrative positions began in 2000 when he was promoted as the head of planning and as the deputy director, field operations at UWA, before becoming the executive director.
He will greatly be missed by the Tourism fraternity.