CHISHIMBA Kambwili will have to clear drug related allegations against Valden Findlay and at the latter’s decision pay damages for libel, slander and malicious falsehood to be agreed in default to be assessed by the deputy registrar of the Lusaka High Court.
Justice Elita Mwikisa has authorised the consent judgment by the Lusaka businessman, which brings the matter in which Findlay had sued Kambwili for defamation in the Lusaka High Court to a conclusion.
Findlay agreed to have the matter discontinued on conditions that Kambwili retracts his slanderous statements that he is a drug peddler.
Kambwili, as NDC president, had alleged that Findlay was a drug dealer taking advantage of the presidential trips and the presidential plane to courier drugs.
Findlay sued him for the allegation demanding damages for libel and slander and an injunction to restrain Kambwili by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise from publishing the said words or any similar words.
In his statement of claim, Findlay said that on September 9, 2019 Kambwili on Diamond TV falsely and maliciously uttered words against him claiming that he was an associate in drug dealing, and that the state was under capture by him (Findlay) and all those connected to him were being offered employment in government.
Kambwili was quoted saying “there is no way a President worth his salt can be moving and associating with a person who was locked up for drugs; a person who is mentioned for drug dealing in America by a well-known drug dealer in the name of Goswami.”
“I am appealing to the Americans, please come and pick up this man, DEC follow up the American report by Goswami.”
Findlay said on September 11, 2020, Kambwili further caused to be published defamatory words in The Mast and News Diggers newspapers questioning his association with President Lungu, alleging that he was a drug dealer and that his allegations of drug dealing shook State House and prompted President Lungu to order for his probe.
He also stated that the defendant on September 17, 2019 caused to be published in The Mast newspaper that he had refused to volunteer information on him to the Drug Enforcement Commission because President Lungu warned members of parliament against linking Findlay’s name to corruption or risk being sued.
The plaintiff contended that Kambwili on September 20, 2019 alleged that the businessman and President Lungu in June 2018 travelled to Kenya to speak to President Uhuru Kenyata to secure the release of ‘drag baron’ Vijay Vicky Goswami of Indian origin from prison and challenged President Lungu to state the reason for his visit to Kenya with him.
Findlay further lamented that he lost opportunities to freely engage in business dealings resulting in loss and damages as all potential gainful business ventures were met with suspicion as a result of Kambwili’s words.
However, a consent judgment has been entered in favour of Findlay on conditions that contrary to the averments by Kambwili, the businessman is not and has never been an associate in international drug dealing.
Kambwili accepted to render a retraction that Findlay has never been a drug dealer or trafficker, has no influence on the decisions made by President Lungu neither has he captured him.
The former Roan member of parliament was given conditions to go against his words and say that Findlay does not obtain any favours, business, advantage, government contracts nor positions by virtue of his friendship with President Lungu and that he never used to nor does he use the presidential plane to courier drugs, as well as clear the air that Findlay has never been incarcerated for any drug related offence within or outside the jurisdiction of Zambia.
The parties further agreed that the order of injunction granted to Findlay restraining Kambwili from defaming him shall become permanent from the date of judgment.
“Costs incidental to the action shall be borne by Kambwili which will be taxed in default of agreement,” reads the consent judgment.
“The parties hereto have voluntarily entered into this consent judgment without duress or undue influence. On execution of this consent judgment, Findlay shall have no further claim against Kambwili in relation to subject of this action.”