Critical records destroyed as fire ravages Uganda’s Makerere University

Sunday September 20 2020

This is what is left of the Makerere University main building following the fire outbreak. Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

By Daily Monitor

Kampala. Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak that ravaged the main building of the Makerere University.

According to Police, the fire which broke out in the wee hours of Sunday, is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments.

Besides the office Prof Nawangwe and other administrative offices, the building holds student records. The basement is full of archive files spanning the whole history of the institution.

“A lot of property has been destroyed. Investigations are ongoing to ascertain the exact cause of the fire,” a police statement reads.

The University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has said that they will "restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible."

"It is a very dark morning for Makerere University. Our iconic Main Administration Building caught fire and the destruction is unbelievable," Prof Nawangwe said in a tweet.


The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Ms Janet Museveni is expected to visit the scene.


The Main Building with its unique 20th century British architecture has been Makerere's landmark over the years.

According to the British Hansard, the building was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development bourse but was greatly delayed by a scarcity of resources to purchase materials as Britain and her allies grappled with the expenses of World War II.

As a result, some of the carpentry work had to be done on-site at the Technical College. It was completed in 1941 under the leadership of Mr. George C. Turner, Principal, Makerere College (1939-46). Earlier in 1938, the Duke of Gloucester, representing His Majesty King George VI had cut the first sod for the construction of the building on 3rd November.