KAMPALA – First Lady Janet Museveni has pledged a thorough investigation into the fire that gutted the Main Building at Makerere University on Sunday morning, destroying property worth millions of shillings.
Addressing journalists and the university leadership at the university freedom square on Sunday, September 20, 2020, Ms Museveni, who is also the Education minister, lamented what she described as the saddest moment in the public institution’s history.
She promised to support the university in the investigation
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, said the fire started in the roof above the Public Relations Office, at the right wing of the Building. He said he was however optimistic, as most human resource documents were digitized.
He also narrated how the first trucks that arrived at the Makerere University main building early this morning failed to stop the spread of the fire.
The fire is believed to have begun after 12:00 am and has gutted more than half of the iconic building.
Earlier, while addressing journalists at the site of the fire, Prof. Nawangwe said although the fire had been seen a few minutes after it started, it could not be stopped.
When the fire begun spreading to the left wing of the building, some members of staff that had arrived tried to enter the building to try and save pick some of their documents from offices.
One member of staff was manhandled by police as she insisted to enter the burning building. ” Afande let me inside. This side is not yet burnt. We can save some of our items. I have the keys,” said the lady who was wailing in despair.
At around 7:30 am more staff members who were arriving from different corners also asked to be let into the building but were denied entry by officers from the Uganda Police Fire and Rescue Services.
By press time, fire trucks were still trying to completely put-off the fire. The entire right hand side of the building that houses offices for the Finance Department, University secretary’s office, deputy vice chancellor administration and finance, central registry where , audit offices, pension offices, salary offices and human resource office had been burnt.