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Exiled DR Congo opposition leader ‘not scared’ of election return

Moïse Katumbi (left) with Zeinab Badawi (right)

Kigali, Rwanda | AFP | Congolese opposition leader Moise Katumbi, in exile for two years, said from Rwanda on Friday that he was not afraid of President Joseph Kabila.

“Now that am in Rwanda, they will come up with some more fake charges because they don’t like Rwanda,” he said from DR Congo’s neighbour.

Referencing the approaching candidacy deadline for the presidential elections slated for December, he added: “July is not far. I am going back to DRC and Kabila will not scare me.”

Katumbi faces prison if he returns to DR Congo following a conviction related to a property deal, a charge he has always denied.

He is also accused of having recruited mercenaries and having held Italian nationality in breach of DRC laws that forbid dual citizenship.

“Kabila is the instability of DRC today,” he said.

“If Kabila does not allow elections to happen, as we suspect because he lies a lot, then that is why there is the AU (African Union) and SADC (Southern African Development Community). We will talk to them and seek action.”

Elections for DRC’s head of state are due to take place on December 23 after two postponements that have stoked fears the sprawling, volatile state could spiral into war.

President Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, had been due to step down at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term constitutional limit.

In May 2016, however, the Constitutional Court ruled that Kabila could remain in office after the expiry of his mandate, even without being re-elected.

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