Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has today weighed in on back to back fires that engulfed Makerere University’s iconic Ivory Tower on Sunday morning and night.
Addressing the Press on Monday, the Party’s Deputy Spokesperson John Kikonyogo intimated that the motives of arsonists and Police’s slow response have shades of grey that need to be thoroughly investigated.
Speaking today, Kikonyogo said that he was greatly perturbed to learn that the Fire Brigade fleet took ages to arrive and their presumably ‘superb’ automobiles developed mechanical problems at the scene.
“As you may be aware, some of these police cars were being repaired as they were trying to extinguish fire. How can you not have capacity to extinguish fire on one single building?” he posed.
“It was spacious, there was no traffic jam, everybody was asleep, why didn’t they get there in time,” Kikonyogo wondered.
As if that is not enough, he also scolded both Police and the institution for unpreparedness and lack of emergency responses respectively.
“How can a University like Makerere not have a hydrant somewhere? How can the Police tell us the water is very far? And today morning, another fire was burning the building but behind the building there was not a single police officer,” Kikonyogo roared.
However, he argued that Police’s poor handling of this and previous disasters cannot be tagged to its poor training nor lack of capacity but perhaps there could be some ‘hidden hand’.
“Park Yard was burnt about four times until the people moved away. When they moved away, there are no more fires in that place. Napier Market in Jinja was burnt down. Do you remember the Kasubi Tombs, the Kanungu massacre? Remember the Buddo Junior fires, up to today, we don’t have the report,” he stated further.
It is understood that the 2008 Buddo Junior School inferno killed about 20 pupils.
Cutting a pessimistic pose, Kikonyogo said he is afraid that the root cause of the Makerere University inferno might remain a secret for years to come as long as the Police continue to shelve reports.
“Who is interested in not releasing these reports, that’s the question we are asking Mr. Ochola and his people. Because these people are supposed to be answerable to us, we pay them handsomely,” he concluded.
His observations about the two fire incidents at East Africa’s oldest University were, however, negated by Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga while addressing the press on September 21, 2020. Enanga revealed that as per the preliminary investigations, the second fire was caused by the heat bulid up from the first case.
“So, this heat buildup led to the second blaze which led to the destroying of the office of the Vice Chancellor and the second floors,” Enanga intimated.
Meanwhile, the Party has condemned last week’s arrest of Kampala Woman aspirant Stella Nyanzi in Busia which FDC says was done outside the law.
“We want Stella Nyanzi alive; she is a free Ugandan who is free to go to any Part of Uganda without a permit. Why they arrested her, we don’t know,” Kikonyogo demanded.
In the same vein, it is also understood that five members of Hoima East aspirant Miles Rwamiti’s campaign team are due in court tomorrow.
According to a press statement from Police, these, together with Rwamiti were arrested for causing ‘Malicious damage to a road’ but the latter was released on Police bond two days later.
“The two were someone who works as my driver Bashir Biruma, another one is my agent Steven Mugisa and the others. They were actually taken to Masindi Prison,” Rwamiti intimated.