Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have issued an arrest warrant for an opposition leader, Moise Katumbi accused of recruiting mercenaries, a government spokesman, Lambert Mende confirmed.
The warrant was issued by the Attorney General of the DRC.
The opposition leader has been questioned by prosecutors on several occasions over the alleged mercenary recruitment, an allegation he has repeatedly denied in strong terms.
The TP Mazembe bank roller instead accuses the government of low manoeuvres to scuttle his political ambitions of rising to the high office of president.
During his appearances before the DRC’s prosecutor, Katumbi was always accompanied by his large followers. On each occasion, the security forces had cause to use tear gas to disperse his supporters.
On the last occasion, Katumbi was hospitalized after he got hurt during the police action meant to disperse his teeming supporters.
The former governor of the Katanga province and owner of football club TP Mazembe recently declared his intention to run for the upcoming DRC presidential election.
He is seen as a strong candidate to replace Joseph Kabila whose second tenure ends in November. A court in the DRC however has said that Kabila could remain in power if elections slated for November do not hold.
The government has said that due to logistical and other constraints, it may not be able to organize the elections that would choose a successor for Kabila, who has not expressed any aspirations of continuing as president having taken over from his father.