DTA's Gende joins APP stable

Former DTA Secretary-General Alois Gende has jumped ship and joined the All People's Party (APP) after years in the political wilderness.
The veteran was welcomed by the APP's Ignatius Shixwameni at a media briefing in Windhoek.
Gende joined the DTA in 1989 after serving as an officer in the South African Defence Force (SADF), and a member of Action National Settlement, a party mainly made up of former members of the National Party.
At the DTA he was an organiser in his home region of Kavango and number 17 on its candidate list for the Constituent Assembly at independence.
After spending ten years in parliament on the party's ticket he failed to return 1999 as he was 15th on the DTA party list and could not retain his seat. However, he remained the party's secretary for organisational affairs.
In November 2003 Gende returned to the National Assembly after Chief Kuaima Riruako left the party. But when the DTA secured only four seats in the 2004 National Assembly election, Gende lost his seat once again.
In 2005 he took over from current DTA president McHenry Venaani as secretary-general.
Yesterday, he said: "As from now I will not be silent as in the past four years. I have wanted to join the APP since 2011 but could not do so due to my illness."
He added that the APP constitution, code of conduct and political programme embody all that he wants in a political organisation.
Shixwameni also welcomed unionist Mildred Ford to the party at the same event.
Ford is the second eldest daughter of Namibia's liberation struggle icon Martha Ford.
She worked at Air Namibia for more than a decade, and is currently a teacher and chairperson of the Khomas Regional Management Council of the Teachers' Union of Namibia (TUN).

WINDHOEK ELVIS MURARANGANDA

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