CLEARED: “Makerere University Fire Wasn’t Arson”- Police Report

The Ivory Tower that was gutted by fire


KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Like was expected, the police report into the investigations regarding the fire that gutted Makerere University’s iconic 76-year-old Main building has ruled out a possibility of arson.

The Ivory Tower caught fire in the early hours of September 20, 2020, destroying the historical building valued at Shs 15 billion.

Also destroyed were dozens of vital records and documents spanning decades that were kept in different offices hosted at the building.

Allegations into the fire that shocked many were pegged into the different administrative fights within Makerere.

But a report from investigations that were carried out by the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) and the ministry of Works instead points to electricity as the likely cause of the fire.

The National Building Review Board (NBRB) said the ashes retrieved from the debris that was taken to the analytical lab didn’t show signs of fuel as a source of fire, but rather electricity.

CID spokesperson, Charles Twine confirms however said if any clues into the investigations indicate that the electricity that gutted the building was due to human error or neglect, they would act and have those responsible prosecuted.

The report according to Susan Kataike, (the Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Works and Transport) will be released by to the general public by the Minister for Works and Transport at an appropriate date.

More clues on the report can be traced in the January 25 cabinet memo which indicated that the cabinet had discussed and taken note about the recommendations on the investigations into the fire.

Previous minor fire outbreaks on the same building were also blamed to electricity-related problems. For instance, In 2018, a fire broke out in the central registry, although it was put out before it caused any damage. The cause was later attached to old electrical wiring that was eaten by a rat thus causing a short circuit.

Shift Media News

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