The town of Mariental in the Hardap region is likely to be split in two on Friday after Mariental’s mayor on the LPM ticket Cherien Kock said that the town council will not be attending the Heroes Day celebrations the government is planning in the town but will instead host their own event.
She said, during the town council’s own proceedings, they will rename three streets in Mariental to honour those they deem heroes. One of these will be renamed after former education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa.
This comes as LPM leader Bernadus Swartbooi urged people to boycott the Heroes’ Day commemoration, stating that it has long lost its true meaning.
“The council will not attend the event because, in the first place, we were not consulted and acknowledged as the council when the preparations were done. But as the council, we have prepared another event where we will honour our heroes of Mariental and Hardap region that have done so many things for the region,” said Kock.
She said the council’s event will start at 2 pm, while the Heroes Day celebrations kick off an hour earlier.
“We were supposed to rename four streets, the fourth being the late Gaob Simon Petrus Kooper, but the family has asked us to postpone it as they are still grieving.”
“Besides the allegations that was made against her, and all these criminal activities and what what (sic), we still see her as a hero that has done so much as the governor of Hardap. And also as the former minister of education. She initiated a programme whereby, as a teacher, you can study through Unam. She helped so many students from Hardap to become teachers.”
The street the former governor will be named after runs past the regional council offices.
“It is a shame that the government will hold a big celebration here in Mariental, to invite people to eat potato salad, yet the same government cut our capital projects last year, not to provide the basic services on the ground, to build toilets. We had to get the capital from GIZ in a partnership. I will not be happy seeing my people neglected, and yet there is a celebration going on,” Kock said.
When approached for comment, Hanse-Himarwa said that she would not boycott the government event and that she was aware that she was being honoured with a street in her name.
ICT ministry executive director Audrin Mathe, this week, said there is a team working and cooperating with the team that was appointed from Windhoek, stating that the commemorations in Marinatal will be fully implemented–with or without the participation of the Harpad regional council. He said the ministry could mobilise resources for the day through the government.
“We are on the ground and ready to go on the 26th, and most people are coming in today, working at full speed to make it a success. The ministry invites all residents of Hardap to come out in numbers to commemoration.”