The Namibian (Windhoek)

12 June 2008

Namibia: Let's Not Move History, DTA Leader Proposes

Windhoek — The President of the opposition DTA wants the colonial monument of a German soldier on his horse in Windhoek to stay exactly where it is.

Government plans to move the statue from its prominent position next to the Alte Feste museum to make way for a new museum. Katuutire Kaura said in the National Assembly yesterday that he wanted the House to debate the plan to move the monument, "with the view of leaving it in place and to find another suitable spot for the new museum".

"An example of a good place for that Independence Memorial Museum would be the spot where the Old Location hospital was once situated," Kaura proposed. His notice of a motion drew loud murmurs and several interjections from the Swapo benches. "This is not even debateable," said Deputy Justice Minister Utoni Nujoma, son of founding president Sam Nujoma. "That (monument) is for the Germans," Presidential Affairs Minister Albert Kawana interjected. "You want to obliterate history," DTA leader Kaura responded. He told The Namibian afterwards that there was no reason to move the statue, as it was part of Namibia's history and a landmark tourist attraction.

"Every day many tourists flock there to admire it and take photos. That monument, the Alte Feste (old fortress) and the Christuskirche are the three most frequented spots for tourists," Kaura said. "The German government has given the Namibian Government hundreds of millions of euros since Independence, but the Swapo Government now wants to move that monument."

Kaura will introduce his motion on this topic in Parliament on Wednesday next week.

The Reiterdenkmal statue was erected in 1912 to commemorate the German colonial soldiers who died in the uprising of the Herero and Nama people.

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