Makerere University got burnt the other day. Twice actually. Okay it was just the main building but still, saying the university went up in flames is not far from the truth. No one ever recognises Makerere by the university pool or St Francis chapel or University Hall, it has always been that building and that Ivory Tower that represents the university. So yes, we can say Makerere University got burnt.
Seeing those flames felt like seeing our precious past disappear into wild flames. I wonder what would have happened if the whole building had collapsed, I think everyone would be wailing for the whole month like they even truly care. I know people who were sad because that’s what everyone else was doing. Well, good news is that many historic buildings have caught fire at least once in their lifetimes. The focused ones always rebuild. I am sure Makerere will rebuild, after all they build for the future. Now it’s time to rebuild for the future. So when they come knocking at your door for contributions, please give generously and cheerfully. We shall give but that doesn’t stop our minds from wondering what exactly happened.
I read that the university was under audit at the time of the fire and some of the offices that were destroyed are key in this process. One can’t help but wonder if someone was trying to hide something. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, says all documents for the Financial year 2019/2020, were safely evacuated from the building and that financial transactions were automatically backed up electronically but still, something must have slipped through, hence the fire.
If after investigations, it is found that indeed this fire was to cover up some illicit financial flows, then I hope they let us all behold the man or woman who is brazen enough to walk into the ‘cathedral’ and set it on fire. Hopefully wakaliwood will also make a movie out of this. It should be interesting. Probably more interesting than that bizarre movie, The 27 Guns. Where did that movie disappear to oba? It was everywhere and then it was nowhere.
When they are making the movie about the human who torched Makerere University, Chameleone, aka Joseph Mayanja, should be given a role. Because he knows firsthand what it means to watch your dreams go up in flames right before your eyes and not even the fire brigade can stop the flames in time. Because when he least expected it, he was denied a NUP party ticket for the mayoral seat.
But like Makerere, we know Chameoleone will build again. After all, isn’t that what chameleons do, reinvent themselves? Let us, therefore, be kind and generous to Makerere and Mayanja as they rebuild for the future.