Raila Odinga, Azimio La Umoja Coalition Party Leader now says the anti-government protests that he called off earlier this month will resume in a week’s time.

Speaking on Thursday during a town hall meeting at Ufungamano House in Nairobi, Odinga said he will announce the date for the resumption of the protests after the end of the Ramadhan season.

Mr. Odinga noted that the protests will happen concurrently with the bipartisan engagement with the government, which he insists must put the public’s interest first.

“We will engage in the bipartisan process to which we have sent very able and capable representatives. But the people must not be left out or behind. We are not going into this dialogue for deals in smoke-filled rooms. We are going into this to secure and safeguard fundamental life and death gains for the people and country,” said Odinga.

The Azimio leader also repeated his stance that the bipartisan engagement should not exclusively happen in Parliament as insisted by President William Ruto. He once again referred to the Koffi Annan-led talks that birthed the National Accord of 2008, noting that the outcome of the process was ratified despite happening in a hotel and not Parliament.

“No one actually stops a dialogue outside parliament. In fact, we have had this before. When we are in a crisis, we had talks held at Serena Hotel chaired by even a foreigner. Those talks were not considered to be illegal or unconstitutional. In the end, the product was taken to Parliament and approved unanimously by members of Parliament. We are in a similar situation here today,” said Odinga.

Raila accused the President Ruto-led government of being a rubberstamp administration that okays anything and everything without considering the repercussions.

“Something fundamental must give this time round but only if the people stay engaged. We are not going into this to be rubber stamps. One of the things that have clearly been on display for the past six months is that Kenya Kwanza is a regime of rubberstamps,” Odinga said.

The Thursday town hall meeting was attended by a host of Azimio leaders among Martha Karua and Eugene Wamalwa.

The coalition on Tuesday this week announced it would embark on holding countrywide public barazas and town hall meetings, following the suspension of anti-government protests.

Wycliffe Oparanya, Chairman of the Azimio Executive Council said the forums will provide an opportunity for the coalition to explain to Kenyans their next course of action in regard to the issues affecting the country.

By Jane Kibathi.