Dar es Salaam. Hundreds of Simba SC fans and members held special prayers for their chief financier, Mohammed Dewji, who was abducted on Thursday morning.
Dewji, one of the richest persons in Tanzania, was kidnapped at 5am as he walked into a gym at Colosseum Hotel in Dar es Salaam.
Leaders from various sports associations showed up at the Simba SC headquarters to show support with many of them urging the kidnappers to release him.
“This is the second day (yesterday) we haven’t seen Dewji. The incident has shocked us and we ‘re still in the dark whether he is alive or not,” former Simba chairman Hassan Dalali said.
He added: “He is our hero because without his support, Simba could neither win the league last season nor sign on good players.”
For his part, Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC) secretary general Filbert Bayi expressed his dismay following the abduction of Dewji, saying the incident has shaken the sports fraternity.
“This incident is uncommon in Tanzania. The sports community across the country has been shocked and we just pray that the kidnappers release him safely,” he said.
Former Tanzania top runner Suleiman Nyambui echoed Bayi and condemned the incident.
The Dar es Salaam Regional Football Association (DRFA) also condemned the incident, calling on Dewji’s family and Simba supporters to be calm as the police intensify investigations.
DRFA secretary general Msanifu Kondo said that the incident has shocked the sports community because Dewji is among key partners in sports development.
“We don’t know the motive of the kidnappers, but we urge them to release him. He is a true sportsman and we still need his support,” said Kondo.
Meanwhile, police are holding Simba spokesperson Haji Manara for allegedly issuing updates of the Dewji’s abduction contrary to laid down rules.