UK Azimio Secretariat Chairman Maina Gatangi. [File, Standard]

Kenyans in the Diaspora have expressed concern over defections in political coalitions days after the electoral commission announced William Ruto as the winner of the presidential election.

In a statement signed by UK Azimio Secretariat Chairman Maina Gatangi, Kenyans in the Diaspora condemned the defection of leaders from Azimio la Umoja One Kenya to Kenya Kwanza Alliance, terming it retrogressive and detrimental to democratic gains achieved since the advent of the multi-partyism in Kenya.

On August 18, 12 elected leaders of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) led by the party leader and Mandera Senator-elect Ali Roba, defected to President-elect Ruto's Kenya Kwanza.

Mr Gatangi said, as a young democracy, Kenya doesn't need leaders who are taking it 20 years back to the single-party system where there were no checks and balances for government excesses.

"It's a sad and a dangerous trend of newly elected Members of Parliament hopping from one party to another willy-nilly as if they elected themselves. We deserve principled leaders and not a batch of opportunists," he said.

Director of Campaigns for UK Azimio Secretariat Francisco Mbugua explained that jumping ship soon after an election is tantamount to political fraud and those abandoning their coalitions must be subjected to another round of elections for the electorates to confirm if they would like to be served in the new formation.

Mr Mbugua said the electorate must be respected and leaders should consult them before quitting the coalition that sponsored in elections.

"This sort of behaviour is fraudulent and robs people of their rightful choice and nature of their representation and should not be tolerated," he said.

Thomas Musau, Azimio UK Secretariat Deputy Secretary General in charge of communications questioned Ruto's motive of enticing members of Azimio to join Kenya Kwanza. Mr Musau said taking that route means that the President-elect is scared of a strong opposition.

"He is just a coward and not fit to rule a democratic country like Kenya. Simple," he said.

At the same time, the UK Azimio Secretariat has hit out at a group of Kenyans in the Diaspora dubbed Kenyan Diaspora Alliance after they published a statement in one of the local dailies in support of the presidential results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's presidential results.

The Secretariat said they wish to categorically disassociate themselves from the "batch of self-seekers' calling themselves Kenya Diaspora Alliance following a recent congratulatory message to the outgoing Deputy President Ruto after his alleged win in the recent bungled presidential elections."

"We want to make it clear that such a group is like a personal outfit formed to achieve a personal agenda and does not represent the members' views," the statement read in part.

The Azimio Secretariat asked the Kenya Diaspora Alliance leader, Dr Shem Ochuodho to stop hiding in the non-existent outfit to fight his perceived enemies and instead concentrate on personal matters as his political career is long gone.