Dark Day for Makerere University

The Ivory Tower, Makerere University’s symbol of pride and prestige is no more. The tower which has commandingly stood at one of Africa’s prestigious universities was destroyed in a fire that burnt down the university’s main building.

For more than eight hours, police fire fighters tried to put out the blaze that started shortly after midnight but in vain.

“When I came, the fire was still on the other side [right hand side] in the roof, and when the fire brigade came, the first vehicles didn’t have enough pressure to push the water into the roof,” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the university’s vice-chancellor.

The fire started above Nawangwe’s office and by the time the police fire brigade reinforced its capacity on ground, the fire had engulfed the enitre building.

Makerere University main building on fire

“The vehicle with a crane arrived after the fire had crossed to the left,” Nawangwe said.

The building with its unique 20th century British architectural designs, is one of the university’s oldest structures, the signature symbol of uganda’s oldest university. It was completed in 1941 with funding from the Colonial Development Bourse. 

It houses several offices including the vice chancellor and his deputies, the university bursar, directorate of finance, internal audit, director human resource, public relations and university’s mainhall among others.

Prof. Nawangwe said that the university administration is “determined to restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible.”

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