Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji rescued

Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji rescued

The businessman and former politician was reportedly pursued by numerous armed individuals as he made his way into a Dar Es Salaam hotel.

The armed men were foreigners, the Swahili Times reported on Twitter, citing Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa.

The billionaire heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry.

Mr Dewji is also a major sponsor of one of Tanzania's biggest football teams, Simba. Dewji said in 2015 that it had revenues of $2-billion (R29.2-billion) and employed 24,000 people.

Eye witnesses said that the kidnappers who had their faces covered, shot in the air before they grabbed the businessman and took off with him.

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Dewji was the first Tanzanian to be featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine in 2013 and has been featured on three separate occasions.

"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".

He is the president and owner of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.

In 2016, Dewji signed The Giving Pledge in 2016 and promised to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes.

According to reports, the 44-year-old mogul was walking into the Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam for his routine gym session during the early hours of Thursday morning when two white men and an unknown number of accomplices in two cars waylaid him and quickly drove away.

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