Zambian Government embarrass Prince Harry with drug scandal businessman
Today the Zambian Government blew what had been a great opportunity to tell the world about the country’s efforts to improve conservation in the country by causing a scandal by exposing the Prince to local drug dealer, Mr Valden Findlay.
His Royal Highness, the Duke of Sussex, was today forced to line up next to Mr Findlay in an official photo at State House. As one observing journalist commented: “It is beyond belief that the organisers of Prince Harry’s visit allowed this to happen.”
Mr Findlay is one of President Lungu’s main financial backers, and has been widely reported to have been the beneficiary of numerous lucrative government contracts as a result of his close friendship to President Lungu. Earlier this year Mr Findlay caused widespread public outcry after numerous media outlets reported that he had been found to accompany President Lungu on luxurious trips to Swaziland and Kenya, whilst cementing business deals on the side. During his trip to Kenya earlier in the year, it was reported in the media that Mr Findlay attempted to fix an oil deal, rumoured to be worth $500m, to supply Zambia with oil. The report added that from the deal, significant kickbacks were to be agreed for Mr Findlay.
Amongst his other businesses Mr Findlay is also the owner of the infamous Chrismah Hotel in Lusaka, renowned for its late night drinking sessions, prostitution and drugs. President Lungu is said to have visited the hotel in the past..
When the official photographs of Prince Harry’s trip were taken, Mr Findlay was positioned right next to the Prince. The disdain and concern about this PR disaster for Zambia could be seen etched onto the British High Commissioner’s face, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, who could only look on in horror at what he was witnessing.
The Prince was clearly unaware he had been placed next to a drug dealing criminal in the photo. To make the embarrassment even greater however, Mr Findlay could not even show enough respect to look at the camera and instead can be seen pulling a face towards the ground whilst Prince Harry did his best to get through the uncomfortable situation.
During the meeting Prince Harry stressed his positive commitment to enhancing wildlife and conservation efforts across Zambia, in order to protecting the wildlife and bio-diversity in the country. It is tragic however the Zambian Government have turned what should have been a positive story for Zambia into a scandal by exposing the Prince in such an embarrassing and disrespectful way to Mr Findlay.