The secretary-general of the All People’s Party’s (APP), Mariska Brendel, has joined the official opposition (DTA), just weeks before DTA’s expelled secretary-general Vinsent Kanyetu joined APP.
DTA’s national chairperson Jennifer van den Heever confirmed earlier this week that Brendel has indeed joined the DTA. “She joined us last month,” van den Heever said during a brief interview with New Era.
Brendel, who was elected APP secretary general in 2013, is currently one of the candidates vying for a seat on the Rehoboth Town Council on a DTA ticket. She said yesterday that she felt it was the right time to leave APP: “I had a fantastic experience with APP and the president [Ignatius Shixwameni] is a good person, so I do not have any reason to bad mouth my former party.”
National executive member of APP, Matthew Wakudumo, confirmed Brendel’s exit, but insists her departure will not have a significant impact on the party’s performance during the upcoming elections. “We’re not losing anything because of her departure, because she was not an influential figure in the party,” said Wakudumo, who also serves as the party’s regional coordinator for both Kavnago East and West.
Wakudumo implored voters to vote for APP if they want to see real changes when it comes service delivery and the provision of development infrastructure. APP’s attention during the upcoming elections will be mainly on polls in the two Kavango regions, where the party will be contesting for every seat on offer.
“We will change things in Kavango, starting from the town councils to the regional councils,” said a confident Wakudumo.
Kanyetu formally joined APP last weekend. He was suspended from DTA for engaging in some clandestine activities, which led to the unsanctioned sale of the party’s regional headquarters in Rundu – without the leadership’s consent.
APP is the second largest political party active in Kavango East and West, with Kanyetu’s arrival seen by many as a major boost for the party. There is persistent talk within APP ranks that Kanyetu is in line to become APP’s new secretary general.