President Ruto to Odinga: You will know I'm the President

President William Ruto sharing Moments with Wananchi at Merigi Shopping Centre in Bomet County during his development Tour in the region. [Elly Okware, Standard]

President William Ruto has vowed to use his power to protect businesses from attacks by looters after the Azimio coalition announced the resumption of protests on Tuesday.

Speaking in Malava, Kakamega County Ruto said that Azimio coalition leaders led by Raila Odinga were dishonest accusing them of changing goalposts by announcing the resumption of protests, despite agreeing to take part in the bipartisan talks.

He says that he reached out to Odinga and his allies in a bid to stop the weekly protests that saw an outbreak of violent saying that it was for the best of the country.

"Nikaita yule mzee wa kitendawili na nikamwambia wewe wacha hii maandamano tupeleke hii maneno yote unasema bunge; wabunge waangalie kama kuna maneno ya ukweli," [I reached out to Odinga asking him to stop the protests and instead address the issues raised through parliament] said Ruto.

According to Ruto, Parliament was the only way to solve the issues that Azimio were raising and the move by Odinga to announce the resumption of protests was a betrayal.

"Sasa ati wamekataa hiyo ya kwenda kuongea kwa amani kwa bunge. Ati wanataka kurudi maandamano. Ati waende wavunje mali na kuharibu biashara ya wananchi. Mimi ndio commander-in-chief. Nyinyi mtajua hamjui. Wawache hiyo mchezo," [They have refused to engage in talks in Parliament, they want to go back to protests so that they can damage people's property and businesses. I am the commander-in-chief, they should stop these games] said, President Ruto.

Ruto said that his government would prioritize making the lives of Kenyans better and that the protests by the opposition were aimed at cripling the economy.

He said that the protests were a way for Azimio leaders to force their way to the government, adding that they should wait for the 2027 elections.

He called on all elected leaders to fulfil their campaign promises to the electorate saying that the time for elections was over and what is left now is to help develop the country.

Ruto vowed that his government would not watch as the businesses of Kenyans are interfered with by the protests.

The reaction by Ruto comes a day after Odinga jetted back into the country following a week-long visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Odinga held a rally in Kibra on Friday where he called on his supporters to take time over the weekend and Monday holiday to prepare for the resumption of the weekly protests on Tuesday, May 2.

According to Odinga, nothing stops the bipartisan talks with Kenya Kwanza from continuing while the protests are taking place.