Africa's youngest billionaire kidnapped in Tanzania

Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji at his office in Dar es Salaam. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Nairobi, Kenya Oct 11, 2018, 08.52 PM (IST)

Mohammed Dewji, 43, Africa's youngest billionaire was kidnapped Thursday by gunmen from a gymnasium in Tanzania's economic capital Dar es Salaam.

Dewji who heads the MeTL Group operating in about 10 countries in agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was abducted as he entered the gym of a hotel in Dar es Salaam. 

He is also the main shareholder in Tanzania's Simba FC football club.

Initial speculations by Governor Paul Makonda say that the billionaire was kidnapped by whites travelling in two vehicles. The city police also claimed the involvement of foreigners in the incident. 

Addressing a press conference Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa said that the assailants had "shot into the air" before bustling Dewji into their car. 

The police further said that three people in connection with the kidnapping were arrested and refused to disclose the identity of any.

Born in Tanzania, Dewji studied at Georgetown University in the United States and served as the member of parliament from 2005 to 2015.

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

In 2016 he signed a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes.

Dewji is married and has three children. 

(With inputs from AFP)

Story highlights

Mohammed Dewji who heads the MeTL Group operating in about 10 countries in agriculture, insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was abducted as he entered the gym of a hotel in Dar es Salaam.