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Namibia drops Greek salad after VIP menu uproar

The Namibian government has shelved plans to serve extra dishes like Greek salad to VIPs during independence day celebrations next week following criticism on social media.

Official events to mark 33 years of independence are being held in Outapi, the capital of the northern region of Omusati, next Tuesday.

A social media storm followed the leaking of the proposed menu in a letter to Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala, who is chair of the committee organising the celebrations.

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 $100,000 (£829,000) for this year’s independence day celebrations.

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