Africa's youngest billionaire kidnapped outside luxury hotel

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

Police have launched a manhunt into circumstances that led to the abduction of Mr Dewji who ranks as one of the richest Tanzanians at Colosseum Hotel as he walked into a gym.

A taxi driver nearby said when Mr Dewji appeared, the auto parked inside flashed lights before the two white men alighted and seized him.

"There were two white people involved, we are yet to establish the motives behind abduction", Mr Mambosasa said, adding that investigations are underway.

News of the incident spread fast as social media users shared the development, sending shockwaves the country.

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

It is believed that the abductors had access to guarded hotel grounds because its gates were "believed to have been left open deliberately", suggesting that they may have had help from hotel staff. Mambosasa also revealed that several suspects, including hotel staff, were interviewed and multiple arrests have already been made.

Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

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He is a former member of parliament for Singida Urban for the ruling CCM party.

In 2013, he became the first Tanzanian to be on the cover of Forbes magazine, and was named Forbes Africa person of the year in 2015.

He is also a shareholder in the famous Simba Club in Dar es Salaam.

According to eyewitnesses, unknown men arrived in two vehicles and parked at the hotel before Mr Dewji got there.

Are kidnappings common in Dar es Salaam? .

Dewji, who according to Forbes is Africa's youngest billionaire, was elected to parliament on the CCM ticket but did not seek re-election to his seat in the 2015 election.

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