THE twist goes on in the abduction incident of the Tanzanian billionaire Mohammed Dewji (Mo), as new developments reveal a silent tug of war between top government officials and the billionaire regarding his wealth.
Sources close to Mo, have informed SAUTI KUBWA that in recent months he was undergoing intense pressure from the government to surrender huge plots of land adjacent to Stigler’s gorge – where the government is planning a 2,100 megawatts (2,800,000 hp) hydroelectric dam.
“Earlier plans to find a legal way of fixing him failed because of his clean record, so they resorted to forcing him to surrender part of his wealth. When he refused they resorted to punishing him this way, seeking ransom,” one of the sources said.
Government sources confirmed the same, adding that the matter had been once raised in a cabinet meeting, with President John Magufuli ordering Land and Settlements Minister William Lukuvi to take immediate action.
One senior minister offered to speak to the billionaire in order to make a smooth execution of the order. But Mo apparently refused to give in. He further told the minister that the same plots of land had been used as collateral for a huge loan from a foreign bank.
“This feedback infuriated the president even further,” one source told SAUTI KUBWA. The president was quoted as saying: “How can he brag as being a very wealthy businessman while he is using our land to borrow money from banks? He must relinquish it… and if he shows arrogance, I will deal with him.”
This president’s quote is similar to his other statements against “wealthy people.” Magufuli seems to nurse sadistic feelings against successful people.
And while some government sources had previously wished to distance the central government from this kidnapping incident, recent developments, plus the apparent silence of the president and prime minister, tend to give a clue about the source of kidnappers’ confidence in a highly guarded area, contradictory statements between police and regional authorities in Dar es Salaam, and the government’s refusal to engage external investigators.
Another highly positioned source informed SAUTI KUBWA that three days ago, at about midnight, the billionaire was moved from a secret location to Magogoni “on orders from above.”
The source added: “Certainly, the kidnappers have all blessings from above. Mo has so far refused to give them the ransom they want; so the big man said, ‘bring him here.’ I don’t know what is happening to him after that.”
Sources believe the government will eventually subdue him, and release him on tough conditions any time soon. They are currently planning a safe exit before calling the media to say “we got him.”
Simon Sirro, the Inspector General of Police, is planning to hold a press conference on Friday morning. This is the first time Sirro will be making a public statement since the billionaire was abducted on Thursday last week at Colosseum Hotel in Oysterbay.