National monuments help bring former foes together – Imalwa

21 Aug 2016 13:50pm
OSHAKATI, 21 AUG (NAMPA) – National monuments play unifying roles in bringing together former enemies and assisting people to come to terms with the past.
This is the view of Kaatry Imalwa, Director of Policy, Heritage and Social Affairs in the Ministry of Veterans Affairs (MoVA).
Imalwa made this observation during the second pastoral orientation seminar, which ended here on Wednesday.
The seminar was aimed at strengthening spiritual counselling services as per a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Government, represented by the National Planning Commission, and the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) in 2010.
A national monument is a structure that is explicitly created to commemorate a person or event which has become important to a social group as part of their remembrance of historic time which is protected by law.
Section 3 of the Veterans Act, No.2 of 2008 empowers the minister to facilitate the declaration of 'certain things or places' which have connection with the liberation struggle as heritage.
It also empowers the minister to mark different places where the activities of the liberation struggle took place.
According to Imalwa, the United Nations (UN) indicates that monuments in post war societies, like Namibia, promote social cohesion, nation building and reconciliation.
She added that monuments are part of memorial initiatives that nations undertake to come to terms with their past and forge a new direction into the future.
Imalwa also stated that the MoVA is in the process of setting up outdoor museums in all the regions.
“Even though it is a lengthy and costly process, three plots have so far been donated to the ministry on which the mentioned outdoor museums will be erected and our veterans see the need for their erections as being very helpful”.
“We also hope that these outdoor museums become national monuments that bear testimony of the hardship and sacrifice that Namibians endured to attain the independence and freedom that we all are enjoying today” she said.