James Wapakhabulo

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James Wapakhabulo
Born (1945-03-23)March 23, 1945
Mbale, Uganda
Died March 27, 2004(2004-03-27) (aged 59)
Residence Kampala, Uganda
Nationality Ugandan
Ethnicity Mugisu
Citizenship Uganda
Alma mater University of Dar es Salaam
(Bachelor of Laws)
Law Development Center
(Diploma in Legal Practice)
Occupation Lawyer & Politician
Years active 1960s — 2004
Known for Politics
Home town Mbale
Title Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2001 - 2004
Former Second Deputy Prime Minister, 2001 - 2004
Former Speaker of Parliament, 1996 - 1998

James Francis Wambogo Wapakhabulo (March 23, 1945 - 27 March 2004) was the foreign minister of Uganda from 2001 until his death.

Wapakhabulo began his career studying law at the University of East Africa (now University of Dar es Salaam). From the 1960s until its collapse in 1977, he worked as a clerk and legal draftsman with the Assembly of the East African Community. Later that year, he moved to Papua New Guinea, as first a senior legal draftsman, and then a principal legal officer. He continued in this role until 1986.

Wapakhabulo became involved with the ruling National Resistance Movement. He then stood for Parliament, and between 1994 and 1995 was Chairman of the Constituent Assembly. In 1996, he was promoted to Speaker of Parliament, which he held until 1998. In 1998, he was appointed as the National Political Commissar in Uganda's no-party political system until 2001 when he became Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He held both these positions until his death.

In his time as foreign minister, he helped contain a conflict with Rwanda, and soothed relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Sudan. In 2001, Wapakhabulo threatened to sue an opposition MP, Wanjusi Wasieba, after Wasieba accused him of blocking his electoral nomination. After making the accusation, Wasieba claimed that he had received death threats and hired armed guards.

Several days before he died, Wapakhabulo wrote to President (and long-time friend) Yoweri Museveni, opposing the lifting of term limits outside those prescribed by the constitution.

Wapakhabulo was liked by many on both sides of Ugandan politics. Upon hearing of his death, leading opposition MP Aggrey Awori stated that he was "the best speaker ever". He was a recipient of Uganda's Nalubaale Medal, for civilian activists who had assisted during the guerrilla war. Upon his death, Vice President Gilbert Bukenya proposed that Parliament Avenue in Kampala be renamed Wapa Avenue in honor of Wapakhabulo.

In January 2005, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni appointed Sam Kutesa, then minister of state for investment, to succeed Wapakhabulo as foreign minister.[1]

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  1. ^ "Museveni reshuffles his cabinet". IOL (Independent Online). 13 January 2005. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
Parliament of Uganda
Preceded by
Yoweri Museveni
Speaker of Parliament
1996 - 1998
Succeeded by
Francis Ayume