At the height of the tragedy and subsequent crisis that the fire cast onto the institution, the University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe allayed fears saying that "all our records past and current; Human Resource, student, academic and financial records are safely stored in digital form."
When fire gutted Makerere University's Main Building last year,
many people including staff, current and former students were worried that several records and
documents will never be recovered as many of the old files had been kept
in the building.
The areas affected by the fire had documentation about
the university investment portfolio, council records, Memorandums of
Understanding, and audit reports. Legal and financial documents were also
stored there, alongside human resource information including staff contracts, retirement information among other critical records.
However, at the height of the tragedy and subsequent
challenges that the fire cast onto the institution, the University Vice-Chancellor
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe allayed fears saying that "all our records
past and current; Human Resource, student, academic and financial records are
safely stored in digital form."
Prof. Nawangwe further added that other information, for
instance staff and students’ records, is also kept at the different colleges
and at the senate where it could be recovered as and when it is deemed needed.
Several interviews that Uganda Radio Network - URN conducted at that time with
some administrative staff revealed that most of the records and documents
including those that were in the university central registry could be hard to
reconstruct. The sources pointed out that many very old files had been lost forever since majority were still kept in hard copy
At the scene of the fire, some university members of
staff were seen with a few documents that they had managed to save. But, it
remained unclear whether any documents located in the offices that had remained
standing on the first day of the incident were salvaged given the huge amounts
of water used to put out the fire.
But Prof. Nawangwe has made it clear that has already embarked on recovery
and reconstruction process starting with current staff information.
In a letter dated January 6th addressed to
all staff, the acting human resource director Lawrence Ssanyu has directed them
to provide all their employment-related and other important records not later
than January 20, 2021.
“...the university is in process of reconstruction
of staff records following the fire that gutted the main building. the office
of the deputy vice-chancellor Finance and administration is spearheading this
noble cause with support from the directorate of human resource,” the letter
reads in part adding that document should be submitted to respective human
resource officers of colleges/units.
The required document ranges from appointment letter,
confirmation letter, Academic documents, passport photos, photocopies of
national identity card among other documents that have been issued to them from
time to time including leave and transfer letters among other.
Besides Human Resource Information, many stakeholders
were worried about university financial records and student information.
Although the fate of financial records is not yet clear, the university has
assured the many people who have gone through Makerere about the safety of
their academic documents saying that they are kept in The Academic Registrar’s
Office which is located at the Senate Building.
However, up to date, just other fires and cases, no
report has been released on the series of investigations that were conducted to
ascertain the cause of the fire that left the iconic building in ashes. when
the investigations started, the police promised to present a report in one month.