Former Katanga province governor and leading opposition figure in Democratic of Congo (DRC) has slammed the government over the issuance of an international arrest warrant in respect of his person.
Katumbi made news headlines last two weeks when he unsuccessfully tried to return to the DRC to file papers to contest for delayed presidential elections slated for December 2018.
He confirmed in an interview with the BBC that he was currently in Namibia. He tried to enter DRC by land having been denied authorization to enter with a private jet to Lubumbashi. Zambian authorities have said he should be arrested it found on their soil but Katumbi is not enthused as his government’s latest action.
The government says Katumbi is a fugitive and has thus sought international assistance to arrest him. He had asked weeks back that the government to allow him in and to be arrested over those claims.
“How can they issue an arrest warrant against me and yet two weeks ago, they blocked me when I tried to enter the country? Right now I am in Namibia and they can find me if they want to arrest me.
“My reaction is that those claims are being made by empty drums, just like they say empty tins make the loudest noise. The people that are subjecting Congolese to misery are those in leadership making false accusations against me,” he told the BBC.
Katumbi flew into exile in 2016 at the time to seek medical attention after he was teargassed whiles attending a court hearing in Lubumbashi.
He was sentenced in absentia to 36 months in prison over charges he has insisted were politically motivated.
Incidentally outgoing president Joseph Kabila is in Namibia attending what will be his last Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit. Kabila’s party has chosen Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari as its candidate in the elections.