Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition leader Moise Katumbi has vowed not to give up his intentions to run in this year’s presidential election.
Katumbi has not been able to return to his country after spending two years in exile, as he remains stranded in neighbouring Zambia.
If he does not make it into the DR Congo he risks missing the deadline to register his candidacy for the December 23 vote.
Katumbi was sentenced in absentia to 36 months in prison over illegally selling property that did not belong to him. He however dismissed the charges as bogus, claiming they were politically motivated.
The former Katanga governor says he is now seeking the intervention of the African Union and regional body SADC to ensure he is allowed to return to his country to file his nomination.
“I am not going to surrender. How can you refuse a fugitive to go back in his country and to face the law?” Katumbi said.
“They have seen there is no case. It’s just the interference of [President Joseph] Kabila to make me not to run in my country.”
The DR Congo presidential election has been delayed by two years after the electoral authorities failed to conduct the vote as scheduled in November 2016.
That meant Kabila stayed on as president, a move that sparked protests and clashes in some parts of the country, as opposition leaders accused the president of frustrating the electoral process to cling on to power.
He however denied being involved in any way.