Katumbi stuck at DR Congo border

Congolese opposition leader Moïse Katumbi has crossed no-man’s land between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo with thousands of his supporters who came to meet him.

He is currently at immigration, reports the BBC’s senior Africa correspondent Anne Soy.

Earlier the BBC quoted his supporters as saying he had crossed the border.

On Friday morning, the authorities said he would not be allowed to enter the country.

He had requested authorisation to fly back from South Africa, but when this was denied he decided to fly to Zambia and then cross the border into DR Congo by road.

The border town of Kasumbalesa is about 95km (59 miles) to his hometown Lubumbashi.

A wealthy businessman and former governor, Katumbi left DR Congo in 2016.

He was later sentenced in absentia to 36 months in prison on charges he said were politically motivated.

He wants to return before a deadline for people to register their candidacy for the long-delayed presidential elections – now scheduled to take place in December.

Katumbi was governor of the south-eastern Katanga province for almost a decade.

In 2015 he broke ties with the ruling party when he accused President Joseph Kabila, his former ally, of wanting to cling to power.

His popularity is partly down to his job as the president of a great source of Congolese pride – football club TP Mazembe.