Mohammed Dewji, Africa’s youngest billionaire, kidnapped in broad daylight in Tanzania

Mohammed Dewji 43 has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion according to Forbes /FILE

Mohammed Dewji 43 has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion according to Forbes /FILE

He also sponsors the Tanzanian soccer club, Simba.

Africa's youngest billionaire was kidnapped by masked gunmen yesterday at a gym in Tanzania. The businessman made further waves in 2016 when he vowed to donate at least half of his riches to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes. Two of the men are believed to be white foreign nationals.

Mohammed Dewji, owner and president of the multibillion-dollar revenue Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (MeTL Group), was abducted after he arrived for a morning workout at a luxury hotel in the country's commercial capital.

He served two terms in the Tanzania parliament before he resigned in 2015 to dedicate more time to the family business.

METL is active in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa.

"I've spoken to his father and the news of the kidnap of our friend Mo is true", State Minister for Environment and Union Affairs January Makamba said on Twitter.

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As the only reported billionaire in Tanzania, Dewji is a known celebrity.

In his day to day life he didn't look like a billionaire - he was a friendly, affable young man going about his business.

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.

"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".

The city's name comes from Arabic, and literally means Abode of Peace. Some may have chauffeurs, but not bodyguards.

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