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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ex-Truck Driver Turned Tycoon, Evans Katumba, Kidnapped; R2.5m Ransom Demanded

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A Durban-based Zimbabwean businessman Evans Katumba, popularly known as Vardy, has been missing since March 22, 2024, allegedly kidnapped near his residence.

The unsettling news has sent ripples of concern throughout the community as details of the abduction continue to unfold.

Reports from ZimLive indicate that Katumba, a prominent fuel trader, was forcibly taken while driving his newly acquired VW Amarok.

The incident has left friends, family, and associates of Katumba deeply troubled about his safety and well-being.

Katumba’s entrepreneurial journey is one marked by success and ambition.

Having arrived in South Africa over 16 years ago, he initially worked as a truck driver for various companies in Durban before venturing into entrepreneurship in 2018.

His fuel trading company quickly flourished, catapulting him into the ranks of Durban’s business elite.

Renowned for his flamboyant lifestyle, Katumba’s social media presence showcases his impressive fleet of vehicles, including a Mercedes G63, a Ferrari, and the recently acquired Amarok.

His ventures extended beyond the realm of fuel trading, with the purchase of Yugo nightclub, a prominent establishment in Durban’s nightlife scene, which he rebranded as Sky Premium Club.

However, the jubilant atmosphere surrounding Katumba’s business endeavours took a dark turn following the events at Sky Premium Club.

Read | Famous young trucker millionaire Sam Mshengu arrested by the Hawks

Just a week after its official opening, Katumba was reportedly abducted by armed assailants wielding AK47s.

The motive behind the kidnapping initially appeared to be financial, with the perpetrators demanding a staggering R2.5 million ransom for his release.

Despite efforts to comply with the demands, with R1.5 million raised by Katumba’s friends and family, the situation remains dire.

The promised release following the ransom drop-off never materialized, plunging those closest to Katumba into a state of anguish and uncertainty.

It remains unclear if the motive is financial or something else as the victim has not been released even after payment of part of the ransom.

A source told SA Trucker that there has been no contact from the kidnappers after the R1,5 million was paid.

The South African Police Service and the Hawks have launched investigations into the abduction, with hopes of uncovering leads that could facilitate Katumba’s safe return.

However, as each day passes without contact from the kidnappers, concerns for Katumba’s safety continue to mount.

Katumba has been missing for exactly two weeks today.

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