Tanzania: Two rappers and a producer abducted from studio by unknown people

Tanzanian rappers Roma Mkatoliki (real name Ibrahim Mussa) and Moni, as well as producer Bello bin Laden, went missing on 5 April 2017 after unidentified people raided Tongwe Records in the Masaki area of Dar es Salaam and abducted the three artists, along with another person who was in the studio at the time.

Member of Parliament Joseph Haulle, who is also a Tanzanian rapper known as Professor Jay, broke the news with the following post on his Instagram page before the news went viral:

I have received shocking news that unidentified people have raided Tongwe Records around 7pm and abducted Roma, Moni and another person, took away computers and TV sets, and headed to an unidentified location.

Local media quoted eye witnesses who confirmed Haulle’s information, saying that more than five people in plain clothes came out of a black van that pulled up to the studio around 19:00 on 5 April.

According to Muungwana Blog, a lawyer for the studio confirmed that, apart from abducting the four people, the unidentified people also took studio equipment, including computers and flat screen TVs.

Mkatoliki’s wife told HZB online TV that she and her family were shocked and that they do not understand what has happened to her husband, adding that they have visited almost all the police stations in the city to enquire on his whereabouts, but none of the stations acknowledged having him in their custody.

Kinondoni Regional Police Commander Susan Kaganda told media she was not aware of the incident, promising she would follow up and inform them when she knew more.


** UPDATE: All four people surfaced over the weekend and held a press conference in Dar es Salam on 10 April 2017.

Mkatoliki confirmed that armed men abducted the four of them from the studio, handcuffed and blindfolded them, forced them into a van and took them to an undisclosed location. He added they were interrogated and tortured while in captivity and showed the wounds and bruises he suffered. The rapper did not disclose what questions the captors asked the group.

On the night of 7 April 2017, the group was blindfolded again, had their mouths covered and their hands and legs tied up, and were dumped somewhere near the ocean. They eventually were able to free themselves and find their way to a police station and then seek medical attention.

“They were able to kidnap us in a very security-tight VIP neighbourhood. All these years we have felt very safe when in the studio; we enjoyed life,” Mkatoliki said at the conference. “Such a secure neighbourhood notwithstanding, the ordeal befell us. This is indeed very scary. We are very insecure. Imagine other artists out there.”

Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyember, who was also present at the press conference, said the government is working to find the captors.


Article by Adam Gwankaja


Photo: Roma Mkatoliki (left) and Moni (right)/Professor Jay Instagram


More from Freemuse

» 29 March 2017: Tanzania: Rapper released after being detained over song

» 28 February 2017: Tanzania: Artists’ trial postponed for a fifth time