Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, said the university will have to rely mainly on the institution’s alumni to raise funds to help in the reconstruction of the fallen main building.
The Makerere University’s main building was razed in a Sunday morning fire that started from the Public Relations office destroying invaluable records and property worth millions of shillings.
While speaking to the press on Thursday, Nawangwe said they have over 300,000 alumni around the world who are willing to contribute to the rebuilding of the Ivory Tower.
“In America only, there are 40,000 alumni but the majority of them are here in Uganda. There are also those who worked here and have formed clubs. These would like to see the building restored. We have established a mechanism through which the alumni can start contributing and we would be grateful if they start contributing,” Nawangwe told journalists.
Asked about the cost for rebuilding the Ivory Tower, Nawangwe explained that an earlier valuation by the government valuer put the building at shs15 billion but noted that not all of the structure was destroyed by the two fires that happened on successive days.
“The basement of the building was not burnt and this means, it will not cost shs15 billion to reconstruct it. Our target is collecting at least shs15 billion shillings since we are going to use modern materials which are expensive,” he exclaimed.
Nawangwe also admits that whereas they are waiting for a preliminary report about the cause of the fire, they cannot take years without thinking about rebuilding Makerere’s historic establishment.
“Supposing the investigation takes seven years! We all concerned about investigations but we want to rebuild it. We want to rebuild it because it is an iconic symbol not only in Uganda but in East and Central Africa and the world at large,” Nawangwe said..
“The least we can do is restoring it to its former state. We are not going to wait . We want the building restored before 100 years of existence,” he added.