IT’S really saddening! Makerere University Main Block, a building under UNESCO heritage preservation has been burnt to ashes in just a period of less than 10 years, since Kasubi Tombs, another UNESCO Heritage site was in 2010 set on fire by unknown people. Until today, Buganda Kingdom is struggling to reconstruct this great tourism site.
Makerere has gutted fire, hours to the highly anticipated National address by the President of Uganda on the re-opening of schools. The University Administration Block commonly known as The Main Building has been brought down last night, our great Ivory Tower is no more!
The ‘beautiful history’ of Makerere, the ranked eighth best university in Africa and the 569th best university worldwide is reduced to ashes, whole bursar’s department burnt, all very important accounts documents are likely to have been lost.
“The mark of the great Makerere University is now history! The Main Building – Ivory Tower has caught fire, it’s a trying moment for us.” Reads a post on Makerere University face book page.
“Am here standing in Nakasero watching it burn till now, my colleague called police a few hours ago, but it’s so sad we’re going to 120 minutes and I can still see the fire blazing high.” Kwesiga Bahram posted at Makerere University face book page.
The cause of this fire by press time was not known, it can not be put on striking students since it’s now six months when the University was locked down due to Covid – 19 outbreak.
Makerere University has issued a statement on how Police fire brigade is on ground doing everything possible to put out the fire which sources at the University say, has covered almost half of the roof.
“Everyone is trying their best. The fire is heavy and sprouting from the right side of the building. The fire flames are coming through the side of the roof which was sunk in. We all need to pray for the Ivory Tower.” Says Makerere University.
One Fred Niringiye has written on Makerere University face book page that, “Investigations are likely to show that this was burning of accountability for the monies that were disbursed to University officials. The custodian and the security personnel attached to the main building should answer.”
Makerere University Alumni are worried whether they won’t be requested to re-register or bring back past papers due to burnt data.
However the University has assured all students that their academic data is safe saying, “Senete has that information. It’s safe”.
James Ambayo has said, this must have been planned by people who do not wish Makerere University to reopen just after the deputy vice Chancellor’s media address about how they would progress with studies from October online for other students and from campus premises for final year medical students. “It looks like it’s planned to frustrate MUK effort from opening.” says Ambayo.
ABOUT MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
This is Uganda’s largest and oldest institution of higher learning. The trade school that became Makerere University began operating in 1921 with the first classes in carpentry, building construction and mechanics.
In 1922 it was founded as the “Uganda Technical College” with additional courses in the arts, education, agriculture and medicine. That same year it was again renamed as Makerere College.
In 1928, the vocational classes were separated from the college and renamed Kampala Technical School. In 1937 the college began offering post-secondary education certificate courses.
In 1943, the British Protectorate government proposed the university, which led to a controversial struggle. It was described as “a plot to steal African soil for European settlement,” by the Bataka Party. In response to this campaign, there was rioting in the Kampala the capital of Uganda.
In 1949 Makerere College was granted University status and its name became Makerere College, University of East Africa. In the same year, the Bataka Party had been banned by the British Protectorate government, because of acts of riot and arson committed after a Bataka protest gathering.
It became an independent national university in 1970. Today, Makerere University is composed of nine colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.