CHADEMA urges govt to bring in foreign detectives for Dewji case

17Oct 2018
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
CHADEMA urges govt to bring in foreign detectives for Dewji case

THE opposition CHADEMA party yesterday weighed in on the abduction of billionaire businessman Mohammed Dewji with a call for the government to allow independent foreign investigators into the country to help solve the puzzle of Dewji’s subsequent disappearance.

senior CHADEMA stalwart Godbless Lema.

Speaking at a media conference in Dar es Salaam, senior CHADEMA stalwart Godbless Lema proposed that the foreign-led investigation into the Dewji abduction should also include probes into similar past incidents where people have gone missing in inexplicable circumstances in the country.

Such an independent investigation would help vindicate the state from spreading public speculation that it may have been behind these incidents, said Lema - the CHADEMA member of parliament for Arusha and the opposition camp’s shadow minister for home affairs in parliament.

“The statements on the Dewji matter issued so far by the Minister of Home Affairs (Kangi Lugola) and Dar es Salaam special zone police commander (Lazaro Mambosasa) are proof of some lack of seriousness in the official handling of the matter,” he asserted.

According to Lema, the government would do well to understand that seeking help from external investigators on such matters of national security is not a sign of weakness.

Meanwhile, police in Dar es Salaam yesterday confirmed the release of 19 out of 26 people who have been in detention for interrogation purposes in connection with the Dewji abduction, which occurred in the city on Thursday last week.

According to Commander Mambosasa, the 19 - including Simba Sports Club spokesperson Haji Manara - were released on bail on Monday night.

The Dewji family on Monday announced a hefty 1 billion/- reward to anyone who may provide information that would help find Mohamed – more widely known simply as ‘Mo’ – who was snatched by unidentified gunmen outside a swanky city hotel as he arrived for an early morning gym workout.

He has not been seen or heard from ever since, and the Dewji family cited three hotline phone numbers for people to deliver information about his possible whereabouts or what might have happened to him.

Aged 43, Mo Dewji is widely touted as Africa's youngest billionaire and runs the METL Group, a family-based business founded by his father Gulam in the 1970s that operates across six African countries.

The conglomerate has massive holdings in textile, food and beverage manufacturing businesses across Africa. According to Forbes Magazine, Dewji himself has a net worth of $1.5 billion.

He served two terms as Member of Parliament for the Singida constituency through the ruling CCM party before resigning in 2015 to dedicate more time to the family business.

Minister Lugola said last Saturday that although this was one of 21 reported kidnappings in Tanzania between January and October this year, they have all been isolated incidents with varying motives.

The country remains safe for investors, the minister asserted.

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