• Some attendees reportedly stormed VIP tents when rumours about a shortage of food prepared for the day started spreading among the crowd.
Thousands of Namibians on Tuesday flocked to the VIP tent at the independence celebrations after President Hage Geingob ordered all invited guests to forgo their prepared lunch.
Local media reported chaos in Outapi, the capital of the northern region of Omusati, where the celebrations were held.
Some attendees reportedly stormed VIP tents when rumours about a shortage of food prepared for the day started spreading among the crowd.
Audrin Mathe, a senior official in the ministry of communication, said organisers of celebrations initially catered for 15,000 attendees but that number grew to more than 20,000 people.
"That is why President Geingob ordered from the podium that the VIPs attending give up their food [to the public]," Mr Mathe told Windhoek Observer.
During his speech, President Geingob said, “we live in an ever-changing world with numerous challenges as well as opportunities”.
The Namibian government last week shelved plans to serve extra dishes like Greek salad to VIPs during the independence day celebrations, following criticism on social media.
REPOSSESSION … Some residents of the Omusati region taking food from tents after president Hage Geingob announced that food prepared for VIPPs at the 33rd independence celebration should be handed out to the public. Video: Eliaser Ndeyanale pic.twitter.com/LY5Z6sHUAH— The Namibian (@TheNamibian) March 21, 2023