I am surprised that Valden Findlay told you he doesn’t know Vijaygiri Vicky Goswami; he knows him and I have been in their presence, first Republican president Kenneth Kaunda’s son Kaweche has said.
And Kaweche has revealed that Goswami, the renowned African “drug lord” phoned him after they were arrested seeking assistance but later informed him that Findlay would compel President Edgar Lungu to speak to Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta on the matter.
Meanwhile, Kaweche says those surrounding President Edgar Lungu are not advising him appropriately on the types of friends he should have.
Findlay, who is President Lungu’s associate, told News Diggers! last week that he did not know Goswami whom the United States government turned into a state witness in a Mandrax syndicate case.
In one of the cross examination transcripts from the July trial in the New York court seen by News Diggers!, Goswami implicated Findlay and another Zambian in the syndicate, a case that saw two known Kenyan drug traffickers, the Akasha brothers, getting a 25-year jail term in the United States last month.
These revelations prompted National Democratic Congress leader Chishimba Kambwili to allege that Findlay could be couriering drugs in the presidential plane as he is always flying with President Lungu.
However, Findlay expressed ignorance ever knowing Goswami, but Kaweche has now revealed that that Lusaka businessman’s claims are not true because he has been “in their presence”.
“As far as the drug dealing allegations are concerned, it would be a lie if I say yes, he is a drug dealer, I don’t know. But the friendship of Valden and Goswami is 100 per cent. I am surprised that he said to you that he doesn’t know Vijaygiri Vicky Goswami; he knows him. I have been in their presence together and it is certainly a friendship which has been there. So if they are not friends now, I don’t know. But certainly up until Goswami was arrested in Kenya for these same things…they were still friends. And I know because Goswami phoned me after they got arrested in Kenya to ask for help from me, if there was a way I could talk to President Uhuru Kenyatta on his behalf when they were arrested and I said ‘no I can’t do that’,” Kaweche explained.
“After sometime, he called me to say ‘don’t worry about that, Valden will sort it out’. And I asked how Valden was going to sort it out and he said he is going to talk to Lungu, then Lungu will talk to Uhuru. This is Goswami telling me. I didn’t hear it from somebody else. I was on the phone with him. I said ‘okay fine then, let them sort it out’. So I left it at that. That was my last time I ever spoke to Goswami,”
He said Goswami denied trafficking in drugs when he once asked him about it but confessed that he was involved in money laundering.
“But going back to the issue of them being friends even before that, Goswami and I are married to two ladies who are relatively relatives…they are divorced now. So I would go to his home to visit. His children are my children’s relatives. And his business, I asked him once that ‘are you doing drugs?’ He said ‘no. I will confess to you Kaweche, I do money laundering. I don’t do drugs’. That’s how he answered me when I questioned him one day. I will give you one example of that friendship. There was a day when we were in Goswami’s home and whatever the discussion was ended up with violence. Findlay started to insult my father to my face. Vicky was there, his wife was there and Valden was carrying on with his insults on my father. And I said to him ‘Valden, don’t talk like that, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring’. Here it is now [and] I am sure he will even remembers when he reads and sees my name; he will remember that I did tell him,” Kaweche said.
“He continued insulting until Vicky told him ‘stop talking like that in my house, in fact you need to apologize.’ If they are not friends, why should he tell him to apologize to me? They were friends so I don’t know why he is denying that they are not friends. Maybe he is scared that since Vicky has been arrested for drugs and when he says they are friends, maybe he could be admitting that he is a drug dealer. But bottom line is if somebody is your friend, they are your friend. Vicky and I were married to relatives. So how do I deny that I don’t him? I do know him. But that doesn’t make me part of whatever rubbish he has been doing. It is like a home, your brother could be a drug dealer but that doesn’t mean you also a drug dealer. When they come, they will arrest your brother; they won’t say ‘because you are his brother let’s go’, no. Unless you have [also] been doing it. Even when he was in jail in Dubai, he would call me…Even if he (Findlay) was sitting here, I would tell him to his face ‘you are friends with Vicky, why are you refusing?’”
Asked how long he knew Findlay, he said their relationship with the former’s family came a long way.
“You know Julia Chikamoneka? That was their grandmother’s sister. Valden’s sister was my classmate from grade one all the way till grade seven until we went to different secondary schools. So the Findlay family are not people who are strangers to us. We know them. Even their family roots, I know them. But I have nothing personal against Valden. Even when he was insulting my father, I didn’t insult him back .I could have easily picked something to hit him but I just listened to his insults. He is best friends with the President and now that friendship is being threatened because of his past actions or current actions, I don’t know,” Kaweche said.
He said his concern with Findlay’s implication in Goswami’s dealings was with the presidency.
“I would like to protect the presidency. The presidency must always be a dignified and honoured position. So I have nothing to blame on my brother Edgar Lungu right now, I blame those around him. They should have protected him from anything that will bring disrepute to the presidency. He can’t go round asking people. That is why those guys are there [to say] ‘sir, you should not be associating with such a person, this is what we have. If you want to know [more], we can bring so and so and he will tell you about this person’. They are not doing that because if they did, certain characters would not be going in and out of State House. That office should be respected and treated with the dignity that is deserves,” Kaweche said.
Asked what likely implications are there if President Lungu continued his friendship with Findlay who was implicated in alleged drug trafficking, Kaweche hoped the Head of State would ultimately make “an educated and enlightened decision”.
“Well, we don’t know if it has continued. These things have been rumored up until now when there are documents to this effect but before that, it was just rumors. So I would like to believe that the President was waiting for someone to bring him something. Now it is there, the FBI papers are there. So I hope that the president will look at that and make an enlightened and educated decision about this. Maybe in the past there was no substance to the rumors. But for me, when the rumors were there, the people around him at that time would have checked to say ‘why all these rumors?’ so [that] they could protect the President,” he said.
Asked if the presidency was under state capture, Kaweche said he would like to think it was not.
“We don’t know. I would like to think we are not. I am only telling you because this thing is now out there. [I have known] this thing with Valden and Goswami from years ago but I have kept quiet. Even when I go to State House, I see Valden but I have never said anything to him because I figured that the appropriate time would be set. Looks like this thing has now come full circle,” said Kaweche.