- The parties were in the lead up to the election affiliates of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party led by Raila Odinga.
- Former South Nyanza Law Society of Kenya chairman Dennis Nyatundo said such trends are worrying.
The recent trend where Azimio leaders have been trooping to rival Kenya Kwanza is a threat to democracy and good governance, a lawyer has warned.
Over dozen Azimio lawmakers have decamped to the Kenya Kwanza side since the alliance leader William Ruto was declared winner of the August 9 presidential election.
They include Mandera Senator Ali Roba and seven MPs elected on his UDM party ticket alongside two governors.
Movement for Growth and Democracy led by Ugenya MP David Ochieng has also since decamped to Kenya Kwanza.
The parties were in the lead up to the election affiliates of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party led by Raila Odinga.
Former South Nyanza Law Society of Kenya chairman Dennis Nyatundo said such trends are worrying.
Nyatundo challenged the Azimio leaders to accept and conduct their opposition duties as they wait to make another attempt to capture government in 2027.
“It is improper for Azimio leaders to jump ship. They should understand that there is a need for strong opposition to oversight of the National government,” Nyatundo told the Star in his office.
He called on political leaders under the Azimio La Umoja in Kisii and Nyamira counties to unite and strengthen the opposition to enhance checks and balances in the government.
The lawyer reminded the leaders that when Ruto was declared president following the Supreme Court’s verdict, he ruled out the handshake between him and the opposition and thus challenged opposition leaders to do their work for Kenyans to benefit.
Nyatundo’s remarks come barely four days after immediate former Kisii county governor James Ongwae , an ally of Raila, led a delegation from Kisii and Nyamira counties to Ruto’s Karen residence, a move that elicited mixed reactions.
Those who visited include Janet Ong’era, Chris Obure, Zadok Ogutu, Manson Nyamweya, James Kenani, Zebedeo Opore, Jimmy Angwenyi, Stephen Manoti, Ben Momanyi, Charles Onyancha, William Mbaka, Abagusii culture and Development council chairman James Matundura and Emily Nyagarama. All of them contested in the last election but lost.
Angwenyi, Opore, Manoti, Ogutu and Kenani contested for parliamentary seats in Kitutu Chache North, Bobasi, Bonchari, Bomachoge Borabu and Nyaribari Chache respectively.
Oyongo and Obure vied for Kisii county governor’s seat while Emily alias ‘Riberera’ and Onge’ra fought for Nyamira and Kisii County Woman Representative seats in that order. Mbaka was Obure’s running mate and Onyancha is former Bonchari lawmaker.
Kitutui Chache South UDA parliamentary aspirant Justine Nyagami, praised the leaders for uniting and joining the government saying their move will hasten development in Kisii and Nyamira counties.
Nyagami, however, appealed to Ruto to give priority in key appointments in his administration to leaders and professionals who campaigned for him.
“There are leaders who committed their time and resources to campaign for Ruto in Kisii and Nyamira counties where he garnered a sizable number of votes to propel him to victory. It is fair that he rewards them,” Nyagami said.
Samwel Omwando, who vied for Kitutu Chache South parliamentary seat as an independent candidate and lost to ODM’s Anthony Kibagendi, said the mass exodus of the Azimio leaders to Ruto’s camp was good, adding that it means there is no opposition in Kisii county.
“When I brought Ruto to Kisii, the same leaders who have now joined him fought me fiercely. Now I have been vindicated,” Omwando said.
He appealed to Kenyans to embrace Ruto’s Bottom Up approach, noting that if implemented, it will empower Kenyans economically and boost their lives.
-Edited by SKanyara