Uganda arrests security officers after fire guts country’s top university

Nigerian Police

Ugandan police have arrested security officers who were on duty when a fire gutted Makerere University, Uganda’s top university on early Sunday, a police spokesperson said here Tuesday.

Patrick Onyango, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, told Xinhua that they are holding the university security and police officers who were guarding the main administration building block, known as the ivory tower, which was destroyed in the fire.

“We have arrested two people to help us in our investigations. They include a police officer and a private security guard. The duo were assigned to guard the main building and were supposed to notice any suspicious activities at the building,” said Onyango.

“They didn’t even notice that the building was on fire until the patrol team and CCTV cameras noticed the fire,” he said.
Barnabas Nawangwe, vice chancellor of the university, said that the cause of the fire, which started at around midnight, is not yet known.

“The criminal investigations directorate and the directorate of forensic services of the Uganda police have commenced investigations. Security on the main campus has been strengthened,” said Nawangwe in a statement.

First established as a technical school in 1922, Makerere University is known as one of the most prestigious English universities in the country. It became an independent national university in 1970.

The university, closed in March, has been preparing to reopen for final-year medical students to complete their studies to help address the human resource gaps amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the east African country.

President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday said schools, tertiary colleges and universities will reopen for 1.2 million students in candidate classes and finalists in tertiary colleges and universities on Oct. 15.

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