Makerere University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe has said that all records which were destroyed in the Saturday night fire at Ivory Tower had previously been stored on computers.
His assurance, brings a sigh of relief following panic that the university had lost all academic and financial records in the inferno which gutted the university’s main block.
“All the fire at our Main Building was a very big tragedy. However, I would like to assure all our alumni, staff, students, and General public that ALL our records past and current; Human Resource, student, Academic and financial records are ALL safely stored in digital form,” Mr Nawangwe tweeted on Sunday night.
Police as since launched an investigation into the cause of the fire outbreak that ravaged the main building.
The fire, according to police, 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 said.
Mr Nawangwe also assured the public 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.
The Minister of Education First Lady Janet Museveni said the fire had created a chance to rebuild the university.
The Main Building with its unique 20th century British architecture has been Makerere’s landmark over the years.
According to the British Hansard, the building was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development bourse but 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. It was completed in 1941 under the leadership of Mr. George C. Turner, 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.