A security guard and a police officer are in detention as security agencies continue to investigate the cause of the early September 20 morning fire that gutted the Makerere Main Building.
At the end of his September 20 Coronavirus address, President Yoweri Museveni pointed to negligence as the cause of the Makerere Ivory Tower inferno.
In a statement on the fire outbreak, Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe confirmed that the Main Building is guarded by the University’s security services and the Uganda Police.
But “at the time of the fire outbreak, the officers on duty were inside the building near the entrance and they apparently did not notice the problem until they were alerted by the Chief Security Officer.”
The Chief Security Officer had got information from the Nateete CCTV Control Room.
Both Nawangwe and Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga have confirmed that the security guard and police officer “are now under Police custody.”
“By time of response, fire had spread to the roof which means the security detail at Makerere was probably absent or could have absconded from duty for them to fail to realise smoke coming out from the building,” Enanga said on September 21.
“The private security guard was asleep the whole night. When our officers [who came after an alert from Nateete CCTV Control Center] tried to knock and open his door, he was asleep and took him hours to wake up.”
Enanga says the investigations would start once the fires have cooled down.
Investigations will involve KCCA physical planning department engineers, experts from the Police forensics services, Government Analytical Laboratory, fire and rescue service and detectives from Kampala Metropolitan Police.
To rule out a short circuit as the cause of fire, investigators also plan to involve personnel who work in the electricity sector.
“We expect the regional Umeme teams from Kawempe to support investigations,” Enanga revealed.
He added: “We have retrieved CCTV footage from the library wing which we will analyze to help tell us if any person could have accessed the main building before the fire.”