Uganda’s First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni, on Sunday said that the tragic fire which destroyed the Main Building at the country’s oldest learning institution, Makerere University should be used as rallying point to rebuild morals of people.
“This morning, I visited Makerere University Main Building (Ivory Tower) which caught fire under unknown circumstances. This is tragic, not just for the university but the country.”
Ms Museveni who was briefed about the incident that since investigations into the cause of the fire have begun, said the Ivory Tower (Main Building) will be rebuilt.
“For us who believe in God, we know that everything works out for our good. This is a chance for Makerere to be rebuilt, not just buildings but the culture, the morals of the people and everything that pertains to our prestigious university,” Ms Museveni said in a Facebook post.
According to Police, the fire which broke out in the wee hours of Sunday, is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments.
“Police are actively investigating a fire outbreak at Makerere University Main building that started today at about midnight. Fire and rescue services responded at the scene and managed to contain it’s spread .
The fire is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments , alot of property has been destroyed . Investigations are ongoing to ascertain the exact cause of the fire.”
Besides the office of Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and other administrative offices, the building holds student records. The basement is full of archive files spanning the whole history of the institution.
The Main Building with its unique 20th century British architecture has been Makerere’s landmark over the years.
According to the British Hansard, the building was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development bourse but was greatly delayed by a scarcity of resources to purchase materials as Britain and her allies grappled with the expenses of World War II.
As a result, some of the carpentry work had to be done on-site at the Technical College. It was completed in 1941 under the leadership of Mr. George C. Turner, Principal, Makerere College (1939-46).
Earlier in 1938, the Duke of Gloucester, representing His Majesty King George VI had cut the first sod for the construction of the building on 3rd November.
Additional information by the Daily Monitor.