Africa’s youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji kidnapped in Tanzania

A file picture taken on April 23, 2015, shows Tanzanian businessman Mohammed Dewji at his office in Dar es Salaam. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Africa’s youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji kidnapped in Tanzania

NAIROBI: Africa’s youngest billionaire was kidnapped Thursday by gunmen in Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam, officials said.
Mohammed Dewji, 43, who heads the MeTL Group which operates in about 10 countries with interests in agriculture to insurance, transport, logistics and the food industry, was snatched as he entered the gym of a hotel in the city.
“Initial information indicates he was kidnapped by whites traveling in two vehicles,” regional governor Paul Makonda told journalists, adding that “this kind of incident is new here.”
Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa also implicated foreigners in the crime, telling a press conference the assailants had “shot into the air” before bustling Dewji into their car.
He said police were hunting for suspects and had already made arrests.
Dewji was born in Tanzania and studied at Georgetown University in the United States. He also served as a member of parliament from 2005 to 2015.
In 2013 he became the first Tanzanian to grace the cover of Forbes magazine, and was in 2015 named Forbes Africa Person of the Year.
Dewji is also the main shareholder in Tanzania’s Simba FC football club.
According to Forbes he is 17th on the list of Africa’s billionaires, and worth $1.5 billion (1.29 billion euros).
Dewji is married with three children. In 2016 he signed a pledge to donate at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes, according to Forbes.


Two rhinos die in Chad after being relocated from S.Africa

Updated 21 October 2018
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Two rhinos die in Chad after being relocated from S.Africa

JOHANNESBURG: Two of six critically endangered black rhinos have died of unknown causes five months after being flown from South Africa to Chad in a pioneering project to re-introduce the animals, officials said Sunday.
Rhinos in Chad were wiped out by poaching nearly 50 years ago, and the six rhinos were intended to establish a new population in the country after intensive anti-poaching measures were put in place to protect them.
“We can confirm that these two rhinos (a male and a female) were not poached,” the South African environment department and Chad government said in a joint statement. “However, the exact cause of death is not yet known.”
In July, there was widespread outrage and a bitter row over responsibility when 11 black rhinos in Kenya died after being transferred to a new sanctuary, mainly due to toxic levels of salt in borehole drinking water.
The rhinos in Chad had been roaming free in Zakouma National Park since late August after a gradual acclimatization process that saw them first released into small enclosures.
The carcasses of the cow and bull were discovered on October 15.
The surviving four rhinos are being closely monitored, the statement said, adding that a specialist veterinarian had traveled to the park to conduct postmortems.
It said the cause of death would be announced as soon as possible.
In May, the six rhinos were sedated with darts, put in special ventilated steel crates and driven under police escort from Addo park in South Africa to Port Elizabeth airport.
They were then flown to Chad on a 3,000-mile (4,800-kilometer) flight, accompanied by a team of vets checking their stress levels.
The high-profile transfer, which took two years of planning, was hailed as major conservation breakthrough, with translocation organizer African Parks describing it as a “truly hopeful story.”
There are fewer than 25,000 rhinos left in the wild in Africa due to a surge in poaching, and only 5,000 of them are black rhinos.
Black rhinos are rated as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Rhinos are targeted to feed a booming demand for rhino horn in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries, where it is believed to have medicinal qualities.
Northern white rhinos disappeared from Chad several decades ago and the last western black rhino was recorded there in 1972, after decades of poaching pushed both subspecies to local extinction.
Rhinos were re-introduced to Rwanda in 2017.