Marek Zmyslowski, Jumia Travel

It was early last month (January 3rd to be precise) that Polish serial entrepreneur and Co-founder of Jumia Travel, Marek Zmyslowski, penned a Medium article which left many people surprised.

In the expose, Mr Zmyslowski disclosed for the first time that he had been facing challenges in the course of his business operations in Nigeria. These challenges ranged from claims that some of his former business partners are trying to overtake his company, to alleged harassments from the Nigeria Police Force.

According to him, these Nigerian challenges informed his decision to ditch his Nigerian passport, even as he relocated to a West Indies country where he hopes to continue his entrepreneurial career.

“I’ve decided that I need to move my assets, tax residency, or even citizenship to a country, where abuses like that can’t happen, where the law is respected and corruption is marginal.”

Nairametrics reached out to him

Following the publication of Mr Zmyslowski’s article, Nairametrics sent him an email requesting an interview to discuss in details some of the issues he raised. We specifically wanted to know who these alleged detractors were, and if these experiences have changed his perception of a country he once loved.

Although the entrepreneur initially agreed to an interview, his busy schedules would not let this happen. What he did, however, was to write another expose; this time indirectly answering some of the questions we asked.

But he still chose not to name the alleged detractors, even though he went ahead to re-state his claim that the Nigeria Police was used to blackmail him by some high-powered individuals who felt they could control the system.

He also accused the global police organisation – Interpol, of being used as a tool to illegally hunt him. According to him, his name was sent to Interpol by the Nigeria Police Force, alleging that he was wanted for fraud. Consequently, he was arrested in Europe and briefly detained before he was let go.

In the meantime, however, his assets back in Nigeria were frozen, forcing him to institute legal action against the Police which he won; surprisingly.

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The second expose prompted a debate on Twitter

Agitated by the content of his latest article, last week, some Nigerians attacked Mr Zmyslowski on Twitter; accusing him of being stereotypical and being fraudulent after all.

Some people even observed how one-sided his article was, pointing out previous allegations have been made against him by his business partners.

Mr Zmyslowski also claimed that what happened to him in Nigeria would never have happened if he had chosen to establish his businesses elsewhere.

“What happened to me could never have happened in a democratic country with a rule of law. It would never happen to me in the European Union or the USA if I chose to run my businesses there. But I want to run my business in Africa. I was always warned not to do business with Nigerians. The Irony is that the bad guys turned out to be people with American and Indian passports and the Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, and South Africans were the ones that helped me. My love and belief in Africa remain unshaken. We have so much to win together.”

The fact that he is refusing to name the so-called detractors is making some people curious.

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