Prof Nawangwe Promises To Restore Makerere University Ivory Tower To Its Historic State As Police Launch Investigation Into The Cause Of Fire

September 20, 2020

Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak that ravaged the main building of the Makerere University, The Ivory Tower.
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.

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Ivory Tower on fire

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.

What You need to know about the Ivory Tower:

According to Makerere University, the Main Administration Building was completed in 1941 under the leadership of George C. Turner, the 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.

Ivory Tower

The Main Building with its unique 20th century British architecture is easily Makerere’s most recognisable symbol and was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development hourse.

The building’s construction 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.

The Principal then focused on turning Makerere into a University College and establishing buildings. As a result both the St. Francis and St. Augustine Chapels were completed in the same year 1941 and by 1944, plans for the establishment of a School of Civil Engineering at Makerere were already being discussed by the British House of Commons