Lusaka businessman Valden Findlay says no money was found at his private residence during the search by the police. In a statement to the media, Mr. Findlay said the search was illegal and conducted in his absence.
Mr said that the falsehoods being perpetrated on social media that money was found at his residence and stolen by police officers are false.
“In response to the recent events that have been distorted by social media, I would like to state and correct the position. A search was carried out by the relevant government authorities at my private residence, I take issue with the legality of the Search, which was conducted in my absence and despite the officers being advised by my Lawyers that this was illegal, they proceeded anyway. However, to be clear no money was found at my residence or allegedly stolen by any police officers. This is all “fake news,” Mr. Findlay said.
Mr. Findlay added that he is saddened that in an attempt to tarnish his name and reputation and possibly sell their stories the relevant social media platforms, have not only deliberately published lies about him, but also attacked the integrity of the Zambia Police Service.
“It is indeed sad that such ‘fake news’ undermines public confidence in the truthfulness of journalism by publishing lies that can never be substantiated. Social media has become a common place to attack and settle scores with individuals just because one can. It is unfair in an attempt to gain followers social media platforms have resort to publishing lies about me, knowingly are untrue with no shred of evidence or truth to support these,” he said.
“It is expected that any reputable journalist would verify their source before taking to publishing, why mislead the public and publish rumors, knowing you have no credible source. Most of these social media platforms get away with their fake content because they cannot be taken to task in court due to their virtual existence, they get away with publishing content that is irreparable to an individual,” he added.
He emphasized that he has not committed any crime, but that he has been judged, found guilty, and condemned in the public domain, adding that his silence has been taken advantage of.
“We undermine the power of social media and how it can destroy any individual, their life and affect their family. Our society has been indoctrinated to believe anything that has been published in the social media simply because it has been published,” Mr. Findlay said.
“I would like to state loud and clear that none of the stories published in the social media about me are true, they have been deliberately distorted in an attempt to gain followers. We ought to be mindful that such bad publicity and cyberbullying can happen to anyone and that such baseless rumors have the potential of destroying lives. To date, no shred of evidence to substantiate any of the allegations published has been brought forth. The recent story of money allegedly found at my residence with a police officer on the run and my having paid a bribe is all lies,” he said.
He said the respective authorities should correct the position by issuing a public statement to that effect, as this is not only affecting him as an individual, his family, and his reputation, but also the integrity of our Zambia Police Service worldwide.