Windhoek — Heroes' Day, commemorated in Namibia annually on August 26, will be celebrated at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region for the first time this coming Saturday.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba is expected to deliver the keynote address.
Founding Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, is also expected to attend the historic event, which is recognised by the United Nations (UN) as Namibia Day.
This day was designated as such because it was on August 26 in 1966 when colonial South African troops attacked the Swapo military base at Omugulu-gOmbashe in the Omusati Region where pioneer Plan (People's Liberation Army of Namibia) fighters fought heroically to repel the attack.
It is also a time when national honours are bestowed on deserving Namibians.
Penda Ya Ndakolo, Oshikoto Regional Governor, who is also the chairperson of the regional preparatory committee, told New Era in a telephonic interview this week that the region is ready to host the event and that preparations are in full swing. This week a final regional committee meeting will also be held.
"We are ready. We have already done what we were expected to do," Ya Ndakolo said. He said key ministries such as defence, safety and security and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) have already sent representatives to the region who are serving on the national preparatory committee.
Ya Ndakolo said his office has invited regional governors, former Robben Island detainees, retired former combatants, traditional authorities, church leaders and business personalities in the region, while the invitation of high-ranking government officials and the diplomatic community is the responsibility of the central government.
"On behalf of the people of the Oshikoto Region, I would like to applaud His Excellency, Hifikepunye Pohamba, for choosing Omuthiya as the venue for this year's commemoration. I invite Namibians from all walks of life, the young, the elderly, blacks and whites to join us in the celebration. Their blood waters our freedom," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Omuthiya Town Council CEO, Samuel Mbango, also expressed his town's readiness for an event of such magnitude. He said to tackle accommodation issues on time, a list of accommodation facilities hotels and lodges in and around Omuthiya has been compiled and circulated, and those in need of such facilities can contact their office for more information.
Mbango said that the town council is proud to be hosting the event for the first time as it is also a marketing opportunity for the young, but fast-growing town, which he said has opportunities for investment in sectors like housing, tourism and retail because of its proximity to the Etosha National Park.