Police yet to release report on cause of Makerere University fire (VIDEO)

Wednesday, 28 October 2020 - 3:47pm

Makerere University’s iconic “Ivory Tower” looks deserted after one month since it went up in flames despite assurance from the university’s Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe that reconstruction was to start in the shortest time possible.

The 79 year-old tower, which served as Makerere University’s main administration building, was gutted by fire at around midnight on September 20, 2020, destroying records and property worth millions of shillings.


Police immediately announced that they had started investigations into the cause of the fire and pledged that a report would be issued soon on the same.

Speaking to NBS Television a month later however, Makerere University Acting Secretary Yusuf Kiranda said that the police investigations are yet to be completed and that the university has not yet received a report.

Kiranda said, “The University Council also came up with a committee of its own to investigate the causes of the fire and this committee issued its report in our sitting yesterday. They, however, could not come up with how the fire started because the main issue in this investigations is that the police has not yet issued us a report. We could not report on what really caused the fire. “

Kiranda said that when the fire hit the university on September 20th, the Uganda police commenced investigations and deployed two directories.

“They deployed the forensic services directorate and the criminal investigates directorate and assured us that they are looking at all angles of the investigation into the cause of the fire. As the university management, we are just as interested and anxious as every other Ugandan,” Kiranda said

What next?

Kiranda said that as a public institution, there are steps that Makerere University has to follow if the Ivory Tower is to be restored to its now former glory. He noted that a team of experts had already been contacted to come up with a cost of restoration.

“The cost of restoration was estimated at 15.9 billion, we have to put up a team to lead the fundraising drive but this team is due to be appointed by the Vice Chancellor,” Kiranda noted.

The university secretary added that they are however taking all the necessary procedures to make sure that the building is up and running by 2022.

“The ultimate is that the building must be up by 2022 as the university celebrates 100 years, so we are working back words. What we can guarantee is that we are working to ensure this is met,” he said.

The Ivory Tower, with its unique 20th century British architecture is easily Makerere’s most recognizable symbol.

It was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development House and was completed in 1941 under the leadership of George C. Turner, the Principal, Makerere College (1939-46).