I wanted to meet Moïse Katumbi at his palatial home in Lubumbashi where, first as a trucking magnate and then as governor, he lived like a king. According to those who have been there, hordes of supplicants would gather outside to pledge their lives to the multimillionaire businessman they insist turned the Congo’s mineral-rich Katanga province around. Inside, the decor is on an awe-inspiring scale: there are rows of elephant tusks, tall Chinese vases and reams of white leather. One guest reported that even the dogs — Dalmatians — were chosen to match the colours of the football team Katumbi owns, "All Powerful" Mazembe, who play in black and white. Instead of Lubumbashi, however, I have had to settle for the Dorchester in London’s Mayfair — an occasional hideout since Katumbi fled to Europe in May 2016 after squabbling with his country’s president, Joseph Kabila. It’s a long way from the Democratic Republic of Congo where, last time I visited, there was a gun battle outside my hote...

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