Shanghai Street should be named after Riruako: Kauandenge

09 May 2017 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 09 MAY (NAMPA) – Should efforts to rename Shanghai Street in Windhoek after the late Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) Kuaima Riruako fail, those supporting the idea will demonstrate to make their voices heard.
This was said by Windhoek Municipality councillor, Joseph Kauandenge during a meeting at the Ovaherero Commando Hall last week.
He was giving the community feedback on what has transpired in council since he was sworn in as councillor representing the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) in December 2015.
“I suggested to council through the necessary procedures that Shanghai Street be renamed after the late chief,” he said.
Kauandenge also said the street falls in an area where the late chief used to operate.
Shanghai Street runs from Hans Dietrich Genscher Street in Shandumbala, Katutura to Florence Nightingale Street in Khomasdal.
“There is no other street in Windhoek that can represent the value of the work of our late chief and his contribution to Namibia in general,” Kauandenge said.
Asked what will happen should the municipality propose that another street be named after Riruako, the councillor responded that people will protest.
“If need be, let the street be divided between Shanghai and Riruako, but the question remains, what is Shanghai to Namibia to have a street named after it?” Kauandenge asked.
Brian Riruako, the son of the late chief, told Nampa on Thursday the Riruako family supports Kauandenge’s idea.
“I personally think it would be better if Shanghai be a name of the street in which the Chinese Embassy is situated,” Riruako said. They acknowledge the contribution of China to Namibia’s struggle for independence.
Community members, however, appear to have mixed feelings about the proposal. Some do not want the late chief associated with the street because too many crimes are committed there.
“With all the evil taking place in this street I don’t feel that it will run parallel with the good image of our fallen hero,” Tjindjou Hengari told this agency when approached for comment.
Those in favour of the idea said the name Shanghai does not have any meaning for those who live in the street.
Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua told this reporter the street was named after the Chinese city because of the role the Chinese government played in the fight for Namibia's independence. He said the City does not plan to rename the street.
He said those proposing the name change can identify another street for this purpose.
“Riruako was a parliamentarian which in essence makes him a national leader, meaning any street can be named after him. We should not politicise an issue to promote our political agendas,” the mayor said.
Riruako became paramount chief after the assassination of Clemens Kapuuo in 1978.
He died in Windhoek on 02 June 2014.
Meanwhile, the municipality’s street naming policy was amended and approved by the council on 27 April. According to the amended policy, only Namibians are to be involved in the street naming exercise.
Shanghai is the most populous city proper in the world with a population of more than 24 million as of 2014. It is a global financial centre and transport hub with the world's busiest container port.