The right-wing of the iconic Ivory Tower also known as the Makerere University Main Building has burnt to ashes from a fire that started early Sunday morning. The fire is believed to have started between 12:00 am and 1:00 am from the right-wing.
According to a tweet posted on the University’s Twitter handle (@MakerereU), the fire was sprouting from the right side of the building where part of the roof had sunk in. Moments later, the fire was reported to have spread and covered all floors of the right side of the building.
The 79-year-old building is the face of the University, appearing on postage stamps, postcards, advertising boards, academic journals, and national currency over the years. At the moment, the extent of the damage caused by the fire remains unknown but a quick assessment of the building shows that the entire roof of the right-wing has collapsed.
The most affected offices that were housed in the burnt wing include the Finance Department, the University secretary’s office, deputy vice-chancellor administration and finance, central registry where, audit offices, pension offices, salary offices, and human resource.
According to university staff, only a few offices remain untouched by the fire. They include the Printery, the vice chancellor’s office, senior common room, and the council room.
The cause of the fire and whether anyone might have been inside the building is still unknown. However, security at the University believes no one was inside the building.
Prof. Barnabas Nawange, the University vice-chancellor on the University Twitter handled @MakerereU commented about the fire saying,
“It is a very dark morning for Makerere University. Our iconic main administration building caught fire and the destruction is unbelievable. But we are determined to restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible,” he said.
The fire comes at a time when the institution has been closed down since March 2020 due to the Covid19 pandemic, and the Ministry of Education amid talks to re-open the learning institutions.