Councillors in the German capital, Berlin, have voted to replace a street name honouring a colonial governor in East Africa accused of having ordered massacres with one of a leading female Tanzanian independence activist.
Lucy Lameck was Tanzania’s first female cabinet minister as well as a leading figure in the country’s independence movement.
Von Wissman was governor of German East Africa (now Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda) in the late 19th Century and is believed to have been behind the mass killings of local people, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Berlin Postkolonial, one of the groups behind the call for the name change, welcomed the local authority’s decision.
In a statement it said that the campaign had prevented “the further honouring” of Von Wissmann and in its place put “a Tanzanian woman who actively opposed colonialism and racism”.
“Wissmann was a racist war criminal. Lucy Lameck stands for the undervalued contribution of Tanzania’s women to the fight for our independence,” Tanzanian activist Mnyaka Sururu Mboro said.
Who is Lucy Lameck
Lucy Lameck was a Tanzanian politician, who was the first woman to hold a Ministerial post in the government. Born to a farming family, she trained as a nurse before becoming involved in politics and attending Ruskin College, Oxford, through a scholarship.
Lucy Lameck first entered the Tanganyika National Assembly in 1960, before being elected to the Tanzania National Assembly in 1965. With the exception of 1975 to 1980, she continued to hold a seat there until her death in 1992. She is seen as a role model, having worked throughout her life to improve conditions within the country for women.