The Namibian government has abandoned plans to provide extra meals to VIPs at the country’s independence day celebrations next week, including Greek salad after criticisms on social media.
On Tuesday, the northern district of Omusati’s capital of Outapi will host formal celebrations to honor 33 years of independence.
The suggested menu was leaked in a letter to the chairman of the committee planning the celebrations, Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala, which sparked a social media uproar.
According to the letter, caterers were to be instructed to prepare the following:
- For the public, the menu included potato salad, butternut, rice, fried beef and fish.
- For the VIPs – such as foreign dignitaries – extras like Greek salad, steamed carrots, maize pap (porridge made from maize meal), mahangu pap (porridge made from millet flour), baked fish and game stew.
The social outrage over the government’s perceived “elitist tendencies” was summed up in Wednesday’s headline in the Namibian Sun: “U-turn on ‘lords and peasants’ independence menu”.
However, Mr Endjala told the paper that these had only been suggestions.
“We have realised that the proposal was far-fetched from reality. The menu was revised and the public will now have more food than the VIPs,” he is quoted as saying.
Audrin Mathe, a senior officer in the information ministry, told The Namibian that the government would be spending less than $134,000 (£112,000) for this year’s independence day celebrations.