A huge fire has destroyed part of the main building of Uganda’s prestigious Makerere University, one of Africa’s oldest, police said Sunday.
“The fire is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments,” said Kampala deputy police spokesman Luke Oweyesigire.
“A lot of property has been destroyed. Investigations are ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire,” which started around 1 am (2200 GMT).
“It is a very dark morning for Makerere University. Our iconic Main Administration Building caught fire and the destruction is unbelievable,” tweeted Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the institution’s vice chancellor.
UPDATE: The fire at Makerere University is now spreading to the left-wing of the main building. The fire started on the right-wing of the Ivory tower. The fire brigade continues to fight the flames #MonitorUpdates pic.twitter.com/6Rx1LOii0j
— Daily Monitor (@DailyMonitor) September 20, 2020
Nawangwe pledged everything would be done to “restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible” as the university tweeted video footage of flamed engulfing the building.
2020 a year to forget makerere university on fire pic.twitter.com/SOx6oYHsyJ
— Nsimbe Christopher (@NsimbeChristop1) September 19, 2020
Makerere was established in 1922 as a humble technical school, but today is one of Africa’s oldest and most prestigious English universities.
Built between 1938 and 1941, the university today has 35,000 students and 3,000 postgraduates.