Tanzania snubs foreign help to trace missing tycoon

Tanzania's deputy minister of home affairs, Hamad Masauni. Photo : TCT

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Tanzania’s Home Affairs deputy minister Hamad Masauni has ruled out any intention by his government to allow foreign investigators to help trace the missing billionaire since two weeks now.

Minister Masauni expressed confidence that “the local police were capable of doing the work”, local media quoted him as saying on Wednesday.

A similar scenario obtain in the case of the missing banknotes in Liberia where the U.S. had been solicited but turned down by a presidential committee.

In Tanzania, there were calls for the government to resort to foreign forensic assistance to locate Mohamed Dewji who was kidnapped two weeks ago and still remains in the hands of his captives in spite of a massive manhunt by security operatives.

Meantime, Tanzania police on Tuesday evening released 19 of 26 people who were held for grilling in connection to the abduction of Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dewji.

The 19, who include Simba Sports Club spokesperson Mr Haji Manara, were released on bail, according to Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander Lazaro Mambosasa on Tuesday.

Media reports said their release coincided with opposition calls for the government to allow an independent investigation in wake of rising wave of similar incidents in the country.

Chadema politician, Mr Godbless Lema, who is also the shadow minister for Home Affairs, said independent investigators would help vindicate the government over speculation it may have been behind such incidents.

“If you look carefully at the statements made by the government and the police in particular,” the Arusha Urban MP said, “you’ll see an utter lack of seriousness on [the government’s] response on the issue at hand.”

Mr Lema, who is also his party’s Central Committee member, said he wanted the government to believe that seeking help from external investigators on such a matter of national security “is not a sign of weakness.”

Rather, he added, it shows how civil and wise the government is in doing anything possible in its possession to calm down the tension surrounding the critical issue, Uganda’s Daily Monitor quoted Mr. Lema as saying.

Mo, as he is popularly known, 43, was abducted by unidentified gunmen in the early Thursday last week as he went for a workout at the luxury Colosseum Hotel gym in Oyster Bay, an affluent neighbourhood in northwest Dar es Salaam.

Police are yet to establish those behind Mo’s abduction or their motive.

On Monday, Mo’s family announced a Tsh1 billion ($437,000) reward to anyone who may provide information that would help find him.

© Bur-csa – N.A – A.H / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)