Katumbi says President Kabila mus cede power in December when his extended mandate expires or risk facing an uprising.
Katumbi, who has been in exile for two years, announced he will be returning to the central African nation in December to participate in elections.
Speaking to Salim Kikeke on the BBC’s Swahili section, Katumbi – the former governor of the mineral rich Katanga – says it will be treasonable for president Kabila to continue in power beyond December 20 when his extended mandate expires.
A team of Catholic bishops helped broker a temporary peace deal late last year when it brought the opposition and the ruling party together to agree on a timeline that would have seen elections held before end of this year.
The Congo elections were due in December 2016.
However, the peace deal has broken down after the Electoral Commission announced it could not organize elections until 2019. Tension is high in Congo with civilians and police clashing over President Kabila’s continued hold on power.
Thousands have fled the DRC to neigbhouring Zambia and Tanzania.
Katumbi is barred from returning to Congo where politically motivated charges have been slapped on him.
“We don’t want bloodshed in Congo, but the opposition has given conditions for dialogue leading to the elections. One of the conditions is that President Kabila should announce he will not contest the election,” he said.
Katumbi says Kabila has served his two terms and is constitutionally barred from contesting the next election.
“If he does not hold elections, he ceases to be president as at December 20 because that action is tantamount to treason. He is going to betray the people,” he said.
Katumbi says the people of DR Congo have duty to rescue their country from an undemocratic regime.