Kampala – Two security officers who were on night duty at Makerere University main building when the fire broke out in the wee hours of Sunday have been arrested over alleged negligence of duty.
Addressing journalists at Uganda Media Center, police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that preliminary findings have indicated that the two security officers, a police officer and private security guard who were supposed to be on night duty were either sleeping or had absconded given the circumstances surrounding the delay in reporting the incident.
The names of the suspects have been withheld by police citing the ongoing investigations.
Enanga says that by the time they responded and made a distress call, the fire had spread to the roof which means the security detail at Makerere was probably absent or could have absconded from duty for them to fail to realize there was smoke coming out from the building.
On interrogation, the police officer apparently lied to detectives that he was at his designated beat (patrol area) despite the investigations showing otherwise, while the security guard was found sleeping in his guard-post Enanga said.
Enanga said they deployed 11 trucks and a team of over 40 men was at the scene to put out the fire. Addressing the nation on Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni alluded to the possibility that there was negligence at the university leading to the fire.
“The fire-fighting team had a challenge of lack of water hydrants at the university campus and had to drive back to fire brigade headquarters near Clock Tower to fill the trucks and come back yet the fire was significant at that time,” Enanga disclosed.
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Enanga adds that currently, police forensic experts have retrieved CCTV camera footage from the library wing to help tell if any person could have accessed the main building before the fire.