Lusaka businessman and President Edgar Lungu’s close associate Valden Findlay has denied ever dealing in illicit narcotics, warning that he will sue opposition NDC president Chishimba Kambwili for accusing him of being a drug trafficker.
And Findlay has told News Diggers in a brief exclusive interview that he cannot be forced to explain his friendship with the Head of State as it is nobody’s business but his private life.
The businessman, who owns Chrismar Hotel and Chrismar Earth Moving Equipment and several other supply and construction companies in Zambia, which do business with the government, said he does not know Vicky Goswami, the man who implicated during the drug trafficking trial in America.
He added that he had never been taken to court for drug trafficking in his life.
A renowned African drug lord of Indian origin, Vijaygiri Vicky Goswami, whom the American government extradited from Kenya and turned into a State witness in the trial of the Akasha Brothers and a drug trafficking syndicate in Africa, implicated Findlay by naming him as one of the people involved in the cartel.
Zambians then expressed concern with the revelation as documents containing court transcripts of Goswami’s cross examination spread on the Internet and social media, prompting Kambwili to hold a press conference at his house on Monday where he questioned President Lungu’s relationship with Findlay.
He went on to suggest that perhaps, President Lungu’s jet is being used to courier drugs, since the businessman who had been accused of drug trafficking was always flying with him.
“I want to ask the President to be very honest with the people of Zambia, tell us what business you have with Valden Findlay. The Zambian people want to know what business you have with one Valden Findlay. History has it that Mr Findlay was locked up by Dr Kenneth Kaunda for dealing in drugs. We have seen [Mr President] that whenever you go abroad, when you are alighting from the plane, the next person to come out is Valden Findlay. There are allegations by the people of Zambia and the world over that maybe the Presidential trips and the Presidential Plane is now being used to courier drugs. This man (Findlay) has been mentioned in drug deals in America. Are we under state capture by Valden Findlay? What business do you do with Valden Findlay, Your Excellency Mr President? The people of Zambia want to know,” asked Kambwili.
But Findlay said he has had no dealings with Goswami and he doesn’t know him.
“I have nothing to do with this. Let Mr Kambwili prove it. I am taking him to court for these allegations. These are defamatory allegations. I have never been convicted, I have never been taken to court for drug issues,” Findlay said.
Asked if he knew Goswami, he denied.
“Me I don’t know Goswami, I know Kambwili. He is accusing me for something I have never done,” Findlay said.
Asked if the allegations were denting his friendship with President Lungu, Findlay said: “These are just allegations, there is no truth to it.”
When pressed to explain the nature of friendship he had with President Lungu and the kind of business they do together, Findlay said that was his private life which should not bother anybody.
“It is none of anybody’s business. It is my personal life!” said Findlay.