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 broken out between 12:00 am and 1:00 am at the right-wing before it spread to other parts of the university.
The 79-year-old building is the face of the university that has appeared on postage stamps, postcards, advertising boards, academic journals and national currency over the years. At the moment, 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.
Makerere staff at the scene told URN that the most affected offices include the finance department, university secretary's office, deputy vice chancellor administration and finance, central registry where, audit offices, pension offices, salary offices and human resource.
One of the firemen present at the university says that nothing is left within the burnt wing. The entire finance department has been gutted. He adds that the entire wing is expected to collapse given the huge cracks that have presented in the walls due to the fire.
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 believe no one was inside the building.
Lucy Alezuyo, a guard at the university for the last 23 years, says that at the weekend the building is mostly deserted. Few people are in it working.
"According to protocol, those on duty must move around to ensure that no one is inside before they lock the entire building. This is usually done at around 5:00 pm during these curfew times," said Alezuyo.
Makerere vice-chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said on Twitter;
"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.