News Diggers can reveal that the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has withdrawn its summon on Lusaka businessman and President Edgar Lungu’s close associate Valden Findlay, who was supposed to appear for questioning in relation to drug trafficking allegations.
The source explained that after NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili made the allegations against Findlay, State House was shaken to a point that President Lungu called for a meeting with officials at the American Embassy to understand the case in which Findlay was implicated.
“President Lungu called for a meeting after news filtered through that Vicky Goswami had implicated Mr Valden Findlay in drug trafficking during a court hearing that you people have been reporting about. He summoned the American Ambassador, Daniel Foote, but the Ambassador was not around so the new deputy chief of mission came. There is another lady called Doreen who is from the public affairs department and another one called Zarina who was also part of the meeting,” the source narrated.
“On the President’s team, there was himself the President, the Minister of Home Affairs [Stephen Kampyongo], the Director General of the Intelligence [Samuel Nkhoma], Kaizer Zulu (the President’s political advisor), Press Aide Isaac Chipampe and [State House legal advisor] Sukwana Lukangaba.”
The source continued to reveal that “when the meeting started, it was the minister (Kampyongo) who took charge. So the minister was basically asking why the Americans were looking to pick up Mr Findlay as if they had any evidence on his involvement in drug trafficking. So the Americans seemed surprised because it appeared that they were almost being given more insight on the issue than they had. The discussion went on…the President’s main concern was the allegation that his plane was being used to traffic drugs.”
The source explained that it was at that meeting that a decision was made for DEC to summon Kambwili and Findlay, before State House later resolved to provide cover on the businessman.
“After that meeting, a decision was made to summon Chishimba Kambwili. That is how you saw that bizarre statement from State House talking about a directive given to DEC to investigate drug trafficking allegations. That was an order to arrest Kambwili. But the Americans in the meeting expressed concern that Kambwili was just a whistleblower and advised that the accused must also be summoned. Then reluctantly, they agreed and DEC was directed to also summon Mr Findlay,” the source said.
The source explained that Findlay was supposed to appear at DEC on September 12.
“He was supposed to appear the next day after Kambwili. But after Kambwili feigned illness and refused to go, Findlay’s summon was also pushed forward. So by the time Kambwili appeared and refused to talk, a decision to withdraw the summon was already made,” the source revealed.
After News Diggers interviewed Findlay on September 13 over his links to incarcerated Goswami, the African drug lord of Indian origin, the Lusaka businessman who owns Chrismar Hotel, among other businesses, denied any association.
Findlay also denied ever being involved in drug trafficking and said he doesn’t know Goswami.
But founding president Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s son Kaweche later held a press conference where he testified that Findlay, Goswami and himself used to be friends.
He also revealed that at one time, Goswami, who lived in Kenya before the American government extradited him, needed presidential intervention in his issues and it was Findlay who persuaded President Lungu to step in, which the incumbent Zambian Head of State did.