Kidnapped Tanzanian Billionaire Mohammed Dewji Freed

A file picture taken on April 23, 2015, shows Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji at his office in Dar es Salaam. Khalfan SAID HASSAN / AFP

 

Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dewji, who was kidnapped earlier this month, said Saturday he had been released and had returned home safely. 

“I thank Allah that I have returned home safe and sound,” Dewji told a press conference in Dar es Salaam where he was abducted on October 11 as he entered a gym at a hotel.

Clearly strained and appearing exhausted, he thanked the “Tanzanian authorities, including the police, who worked for my return.”

“I thank all my fellow Tanzanians and everyone around the world for their prayers,” he added.

Tanzanian police said Friday they had identified the driver of a vehicle used in the kidnapping and were making progress in their investigation.

The family had offered a reward of half a million dollars (435,000 euros) for information that would help police find him.

Mohammed Dewji earlier tweeted that he had been released and his father Gullam Dewji confirmed his son’s release in comments to the Tanzanian daily Mwanachi.

His uncle, Azim Dewji told Mwanachi in a video that “his abductors abandoned him and he was able to phone his father,” adding that his nephew was in good health.

The footage also showed a tired-looking Mohammed Dewji, in a tee-shirt and jogging trousers, thanking the police.

Abductors spoke ‘African language’ 

Tanzania national police chief Simon Sirro told the press conference that Dewji had already provided some information about the kidnapping.

“Mohammed Dewji told us that the kidnappers wanted money but were very afraid, even though they were armed. He asked them several times how much they wanted but they gave no figure,” Sirro said.

He also gave his captors contacts for his parents but they feared that they would be caught if they approached them, Sirro said, adding that they had finally decided to give up.

“We now know their network, we know which country the plans were made,” he said, without giving details.

Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa meanwhile told journalists that Mohammed Dewji had indicated to him that his abductors spoke a southern Africa language, confirming suspicions that the kidnappers were foreigners.

Africa’s youngest billionaire, Mohammed Dewji, 43, heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry.

He was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in the United States. He also served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015.

In 2013, he became the first Tanzanian to grace the cover of Forbes magazine and was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2015.

Mohammed Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.

According to Forbes, he is 17th on the list of Africa’s billionaires and worth $1.5 billion (1.29 billion euros).

He is married with three children. In 2016 he signed a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes.

AFP

Police Link Driver To Kidnap Of Billionaire In Tanzania

A file picture taken on April 23, 2015, shows Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji at his office in Dar es Salaam. Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped on October 11, 2018, by gunmen in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, officials said.  Khalfan SAID HASSAN / AFP

 

Tanzanian police said Friday they had identified the driver of a vehicle used in the kidnapping of Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji, who was snatched over a week ago.

Dewji, 43, who is considered Africa’s youngest billionaire, was seized by gunmen as he entered a hotel gym in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam Thursday morning last week.

His family is offering a reward of half a million dollars (435,000 euros) for information that would help police find him.

Police chief Simon Sirro told a press conference that surveillance videos at the hotel had captured images of the vehicle used by the kidnappers, a dark blue 4X4.

“We have been able to identify the vehicle. So we have advanced a lot in our investigation, we will publish these photos,” he said.

“On top of that we know this car entered the country on September 1 from a neighbouring country,” Sirro added, refusing to name the country.

“We already have the names of the vehicle’s owner and the driver.”

Sirro said he would send Tanzanian police to the neighbouring country in question, without giving any details.

He said that of 27 people arrested eight were still in custody.

The opposition has called for independent international investigators to take over the probe, citing an increase in kidnappings and attacks in which no one is ever brought to book.

Dewji is chief executive of the MeTL Group, which operates in a dozen countries and has interests in agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry.

According to Forbes, he is worth $1.5 billion (1.29 billion euros) and ranks 17th on the list of African billionaires.

He was a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015, and in 2013 became the first Tanzanian to feature on the cover of Forbes magazine. Two years later, he was named Forbes’ Africa Person of the Year.

Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.

AFP

Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Kidnapped In Tanzania

Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji at his office in Dar es Salaam. Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped on October 11, 2018, by gunmen in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, officials said.  Khalfan SAID HASSAN / AFP

 

Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped Thursday by gunmen from a gymnasium in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, officials said.

Mohammed Dewji, 43, who heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was snatched as he entered the gym of a hotel in the city.

“Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites travelling in two vehicles,” regional governor Paul Makonda told journalists, adding that “this kind of incident is new here”.

Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa also implicated foreigners in the crime, telling a press conference the assailants had “shot into the air” before bustling Dewji into their car.

“Three people have already been arrested but we can’t divulge their identity for the moment,” he said.

Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in the United States. He also served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015.

In 2013, he became the first Tanzanian to grace the cover of Forbes magazine and was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year in 2015.

Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.

According to Forbes he is 17th on the list of Africa’s billionaires, and worth $1.5 billion (1.29 billion euros).

Dewji is married with three children. In 2016 he signed a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes.

AFP

Africa’s Youngest Billionaire Kidnapped In Tanzania – Police

 

Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped Thursday morning by gunmen in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, officials said.

Mohammed Dewji, 40, who heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was snatched as he entered the gym of a hotel in the city.

“Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites travelling in two vehicles,” regional governor Paul Makonda told journalists, adding that “this kind of incident is new here”.

Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa also implicated foreigners in the crime during a press conference, adding they had “shot into the air” before bustling Dewji into their car.

He said police were hunting for suspects and had already made arrests.

Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in the United States. He also served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015.

In 2013 he became the first Tanzanian to grace the cover of Forbes magazine, and was in 2015 named Forbes Africa Person of the Year.

Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In Geneva

5th Africa CEO Forum To Kickoff March 20 In GenevaHaving cemented its status as the foremost business personalities meeting dedicated to the development of the African private sector, the Africa CEO Forum is set to kick off its 5th edition, themed: “re-thinking Africa’s business model”.

The 2017 edition, set to take place in Geneva, would focus on how to succeed in this new economic cycle on the continent.

Slated to hold between March 20 and 21, the programme would bring together more than 1000 personalities, key decision makers in industry, finance and politics from the African continent and around the globe.

The Africa CEO forum 2017 would open the debate with the economic boom of the 2000s, the context of economic growth in Africa and the critical decisions that must be taken to reach rapid and sustainable growth.

Other themes to be discussed include: Unleashing innovation and the entrepreneurial potential of youth and women, making Africa more attractive for international investors, turning African stock exchanges into competitive powerhouses and creating the next generation of African exporters.

Find out more about the programme

The forum would also offer 20 sessions for debate and reflection, allowing participants to hit strategic topics for driving African corporate growth including: digital transformation, fintech, agri-business, private equity, emerging African champions, electricity and innovation.

Some of the African and international personalities slated to take part in the discussion and debate include:

President, African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, CEO Unilever, Paul Polman, President, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, CEO, OTMT Investments, Naguib Sawiris, Chairperson, MTN, Phuthuma Nhleko, Co-Founder and Group Executive Director, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, CEO, United Capital, Oluwatoyin Sanni, Chairperson, Firstbank, Ibukun Awosika, CEO, Mohammed Enterprises, Mohammed Dewji, CEO, Africa and Middle East, Orange, Bruno Mettling, CEO, MSC, Diego Aponte, CEO, Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, CEO, Rougier, Marie-Yvonne Charlemagne, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Sola David-Borha, CEO, Uchumi Supermarkets, Julius Kipng’etich, CEO, Cevital, Issad Rebrab, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority, Saïd Ibrahimi, CEO, NSIA, Jean Kacou Diagou.

For more information, visit the African CEO Forum website.