The Executive Director of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Audrin Mathe, has disclosed that Government has raised the budget for the upcoming Heroes’ Day commemoration to N$2,042,770.59 million.
This is a significant increase from the initial figure of N$550 000 for the 33rd Heroes’ Day event scheduled for August 26 in Windhoek.
According to Mathe’s breakdown of the budget, N$1,207,816.62 was allocated for catering while N$394,295,67 will be spent on information, N$259,875,67 for logistics, N$32,782,50 for protocol and N$148,000 for entertainment.
Mathe did not disclose which companies are contracted to provide services for the one-day event.
He said it is all systems go for Saturday’s event, which is meant to remember and celebrate heroes and heroines who contributed to the liberation struggle of Namibia.
The 33rd Heroes Day commemoration, which was originally slated to be held in Omuthiya in Oshikoto region was moved to the capital city last week.
Mathe announced at the time that the change of venue was necessitated by the state visit of Cuban President, Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel y Bermúdez on the invitation of President Hage Geingob as the guest of honour.
However, the change of venue from Omuthiya to Windhoek has left some residents disappointed, citing financial losses already spent in preparation for the day.
Omuthiya Town Council Spokesperson, Ottilie Shingenge, last week told this publication that the decision to shift the event from its originally designated location has ignited fears of trust issues between the Town Council and residents.
She said some residents might mistakenly perceive the change of venue as a cancellation of the event, and the Town Council might lose finances it was supposed to get from residents through rates and tax payments.
“The residents who own businesses were going to generate money to pay off some of their debts with the council. Now we are not likely to generate any extra income, she said.
Even though the venue was changed, Oshikoto Region Governor, Penda Ya Ndakola, expressed appreciation to the Government for initially considering the region as the host for this year’s event and said their time will come.
“We were very happy and looking forward to hosting Heroes Day. Although preparations were already in full swing, we just have to accept that it was not a problem at all because of the guest of honour,” he said.
He added that the decision to shift the event to Windhoek was prompted by logistical challenges related to the arrival of the esteemed guest of honour of the Cuban.