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Makerere fire unfortunate, but was not an accident

Editorial

Makerere fire unfortunate, but was not an accident

Makerere buil;ding burns down

The fire that burned and destroyed the biggest part of the iconic ivory tower of Makerere University, continues to trigger an outpouring of emotion across the country and beyond our borders.

Makerere is not just a university, it is the country’s most prestigious education institution, the custody of the country’s memory, a part of Uganda’s identity and heritage and therefore the pride of the nation.

Initial indications had suggested that years of institutional memory perhaps dating to the inception of the University in 1938 may have been lost in the inferno.

But the Vice Chancellor Prof. Bernabas Nawangwe noted that relevant records past and current regarding the human resource, student, academic and financial records are all safely stored in digital form.

The building housed the offices of the Vice Chancellor, that of Human Resources Department, Finance and Administration among many others.

Many questions have since emerged to find answers to the questions of how, why, who and what triggered the fire.

The importance of Makerere cannot be overemphasized. And those who superintended it should have known very well that this building is a national treasure that required extra preparedness to avoid such eventualities.

It seems to be the case that this care was never taken considering that there were no fire hydrants nearby, and absence of a standby fire fighting engine in the entire University.

Clearly, there are too many instances of oversight and negligence that can not be simply wished away in calling this tragedy an accident.

Prof. Nawangwe was quick to vow to restore the tower to it’s former glory, but avoided to give the public a full accountability of what was lost, who caused and who should take responsibility.

We are sure that very soon the University will launch a campaign to restore the tower.

If no one really ever takes responsibility, then the same mistakes that caused it will likely come back to haunt Ugandans.

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