In an incident that has baffled several officials, Africa’s youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji has reportedly been abducted by gunmen in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Dewji is said to have been abducted on Thursday, October 11, morning when he was entering a hotel gym for his regular workout.
Speaking of the incident, regional governor, Paul Makonda said that Tanzania had never witnessed anything like this. “Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites travelling in two vehicles. This kind of incident is new here,” the Agence France-Presse quoted Makonda as saying.
A press conference was also held regarding the abduction, during which Lazaro Mambosasa, the Dar es Salaam police chief, revealed that the gunmen had “shot into the air” before taking Dewji away in a car.
Who is Mohammed Dewji?
- Mohammed Gulamabbas Dewji, born on May 8, 1975, is a Tanzanian businessman and former politician.
- Locally known as just “Mo,”he attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and attained a bachelor’s degree in international business and finance.
- Dewji served as a member of the Tanzanian parliament from 2005 to 2015.
- He is the owner of the MeTL group, a conglomerate started by his father. The group, with about 28,000 employees, operates in about 10 countries in industries such as food, transport, agriculture, logistics, and insurance to name a few.
- At 43, Dewji is known to be Africa’s youngest and Tanzania’s only billionaire with Forbes pegging his wealth at $1.5 billion. He is ranked 17th on Forbes’ list of Africa’s billionaires.
- He is also the first Tanzanian to appear on the cover of Forbes and has been featured thrice. In 2015, he was also named Forbes Africa Person of the Year.
- He is also a major sponsor of one of Tanzania’s biggest football teams, Simba.
- Dewji is known for his philanthropy and established the Mo Dewji Foundation in 2014. The foundation works to alleviate Tanzanians from poverty and other hardships. He also signed a pledge to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes in 2016.
- He has been honoured with several awards such as the Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012, Business Leader of the Year Award by African Business Magazine, and African Philanthropist of the Year Award by the African Leadership magazine in 2014 to name a few.
- Dewji is married to Saira, his high school sweetheart, and the couple has three children.