The Vice Chancellor (VC) of Makerere University (MAK), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has released a statement about the fire that broke out at the university and ravaged the Ivory Tower, “an iconic building and the symbol of higher education in Uganda and the entire East and Central African Region”.
He confirms that the fire was first noticed by a police patrol team at the university, who later alerted the OC of the Makerere Police Station. He continues with the account until when the fire was almost subdued at 4:00 am albeit late as “the entire roof of the building had collapsed and the entire top floor of the building and the entire finance department had been burnt”. A second fire broke out later at the Council Room.
The VC also particularises the extent of the damage, and the part of the property that was saved because of the decentralisation and digitalisation policies that the university employs. He goes on to state that there are plans to restore the iconic building before the university’s centenary celebrations due in 2022.
Regarding the reopening of the schools, in the statement, the VC adds that irrespective of the fire outbreak, the university would still be receiving students to continue their with academic years as had been announced by the government and as it had resolved. It is also hoped that the offices that were previously in the main building would be relocated to CTF 2, as soon as possible.
“Arrangements are underway to receive the final year students as directed by Government” reads part of the statement dubbed “Statement on the fire outbreak at the main building and resumption of classes for finalists”.
According to the statement, the final year medical students will resume studies for the second semester on the 3rd October 2020 and end on the 28th November 2020 with the rest of the finalists and graduating students reporting on the 17th October 2020. It is added and “proposed” that those who were residing in halls will be admitted in the halls of residents and the non-residents off campus since the halls of residence does not have the capacity to accommodate all the student numbers.
Foreign students will be notified early to allow them “undergo quarantine if necessary” continues the statement.