Mohammed Dewji, the Tanzanian business tycoon and Africa’s youngest billionaire is still missing after he was kidnapped last Thursday morning in the country’s capital, the family has confirmed.
Contrary to reports last week from some media sources that he has been found, the family says the whereabouts of the 43-year-old is still not known and is, therefore, offering a reward of one billion shillings ($440,000) for information leading to his rescue, news site CNN reports.
“The family would also like to assure any person(s) giving information that all of this will remain strictly confidential and shall stay solely between person(s) and the family,” a family spokesman Azim Dewji was quoted by news site CNN.
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Police in Tanzania had since last week launched a manhunt for the abductors of Dewji after he was whisked away by about four unknown masked men while he was walking into the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam for his routine morning workout.
Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda had said that Dewji had no security detail with him and drove to the gym on his own.
The abductors, who are believed to be foreign nationals, drove into the hotel in the Tanzanian capital and opened fire before taking Dewji into a car and speeding off, police told the CNN on Monday. About 20 people have so far been arrested over the incident.
Dewji became Africa’s youngest billionaire at age 41. He is CEO of conglomerate METL, which his father founded in the 1970s.
METL operates in over 35 industries as diverse as manufacturing, energy and petroleum, trading, agriculture, financial services, mobile telephony, transport, logistics and distribution, infrastructure and real estate.
Dewji served as Member of Parliament for Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from 2005 to 2015 for his hometown of Singida.
As of February 2018, Dewji has an estimated net worth of US $1.5 billion, therefore positioning him as the 17th richest person in Africa and the continent’s youngest billionaire.
Dewji is also the first Tanzanian to cover Forbes Magazine in 2013.
He is noted for having chalked many successes in the manufacturing and the private sector of East and Central Africa.
For someone who gives back to society, Dewji, in 2016, signed The Giving Pledge and promised to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.