Billionaire addresses abduction ordeal
Publish date: 04 November 2019
Issue Number: 848
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji said that he asked his kidnapper to shoot him while he was being held captive. His abduction outside a Dar es Salaam made sparked a huge manhunt and made headlines around the world. Speaking to the media for the first time about his ordeal, Dewji told the BBC that he was blindfolded and disorientated when he made the plea. ‘There were times they kept on threatening me with guns to my head and five days. Six days into it, I was thinking I was losing my eye sight,’ Dewji said. Ten days after his abduction in October 2018, his company, MeTL, announced that he had ‘returned home safely’ after his kidnappers abandoned him in a field. The authorities have not established a clear motive for the abduction. A Tanzanian taxi driver, Mousa Twaleb, has been arrested and is awaiting trial. Dewji believes there were around three or four foreigners from Mozambique and SA involved. Legalbrief reports that Dewji has an estimated net worth of $1.9bn, positioning him as the 17th richest person in Africa and the continent's youngest billionaire. He is also the only Tanzanian to have made the cover of Forbes magazine.