Francis_Nyangweso_February_2011February 20 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Major General Francis Nyangweso, the former Ugandan Olympic Committee President, has died at the age of 72, it has been announced.

A respected sports administrator, Nyangweso spent 28 years between 1975 and 2009 at the head of his country's National Olympic Committee, and had been a member of the IOC's Culture and Olympic Education Commission since 1988 and had also served on Olympic Solidarity Commission in 2000-2001.

Regarded as one of Uganda's best boxers of his generation, Nyangweso won a lightweight silver medal at the 1958 Commonwealth Games held in Cardiff and competed at the 1960 Olympics in Rome before ending his amateur career with a bronze at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth.

He served as Vice-President of the International Amateur Boxing Association from 1986 to 2006 and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa from 1974-1978.

Nyangweso stuck a close friendship with Uganda's former dictator Idi Amin, who named him his new army commander and chief of staff after the 1971 coup that brought him to power.

He was even reported to have acted as head of state when Amin, who was accused of causing the deaths of 400,000 Ugandans during his nine-year rule, went on holiday.

On first occasion in October 1974 it has been reported that Nyangweso took on Amin, himself a former light heavyweight boxing champion, in a boxing competition, easily beating him, after the President had challenged him to "show he still had it".

Though his name was mentioned in the bribery scandal that rocked the Olympic movement in 1999, Nyangweso survived the purge that saw several African members being expelled or resigning from the IOC.

Jasper Aligawesa, the general secretary of Uganda's National Council of Sports, urged people to remember well, however.

"His contribution as a leader is invaluable, so let's appreciate and celebrate his life," he said.

"He was a patriot, a respected and dedicated sports administrator."

Nyangweso, who died as a result of complications from diabetes, is due to be buried next Saturday (February 26).

He survived by four wives and at least 15 children.