‘No one is above the law’

Deep down in the Southern part of Africa, there was a kingdom called Dambia. In Dambia lived one mischievous man called Teddy Bembe.

Teddy Bembe used to own and run the kingdom`s most influential publication, the Pest newspaper. If looks are deceiving, it makes Teddy Bembe a very good candidate for that. He had an innocent demeanour, as a result very few people knew how mischievous he was. He was treated like a small god. He was feared by kings, messengers, chickens and all lesser beings. He was a demi-god and certified king maker.

All the kings who ascended to the Dambian throne used to bow down to him instead of it being the other way round.

“Long live Sir Teddy Bembe! Long live your influence, please don’t write anything negative about us. In return you shall not pay the taxes,” the kings would say.

Nobody dared to say anything against him without facing consequences. It was very usual for all people aspiring to ascend to the Dambian throne to visit his shrine in the Bwinjimfumu highlands. One king called kafupi Kaluba once tried to mistreat him and Teddy Bembe ended up using his newspaper the Pest to discredit him. Kafupi Kaluba ended up having his reputation tarnished.

Teddy Bembe`s influence was so much that anybody who dared not to sing his tune was discredited and hated by the kingdom`s people. Another king called Mwanawesu tried to intimidate him, but Mwanawesu was eventually forced to turn down the steam on him after realising that fighting Teddy Bembe was a highway to losing the throne.

Another king called Ndalama Panda tried to oppose Teddy Bembe. Ndalama ended up losing the Dambian throne. Teddy Bembe ended up exercising his king making powers and helped install a new King Michelo Santa. Unfortunately, Santa died within a few years of assuming power.

After the death of Santa, Teddy Bembe tried by all means to install his stooge Kilometre Pampa to the Dambian throne, but unfortunately by this time the Dambian people had seen through Teddy Bembe`s sly character. The people only wanted their Man Eddy.

“Give us Eddy! Give us Eddy!” they shouted in unison. Teddy Bembe`s called upon his old and dishevelled white witchdoctor, called Gay Sikote to do some magic in order to change the people`s fondness for Eddy. Gay Sikote tried all he could, without success, “Abracadabra! Bububiyo!” shouted Gay Sikote. Nothing worked out. Teddy Bembe ended up conceding defeat and went back to his Pest newspaper to write negative things about Eddy, calling him names like, “Chakolwa” and “Jameson lover.” Eddy wasn’t deterred. Teddy Bembe ended up striking friendship with Hyena Hyena, a leader of a party within Dambia kingdom but only popular in southern part.

Teddy Bembe also extended his hand to Summer Binda a disillusioned former confidant of the late King Santa. These people embarked on serious propaganda to discredit King Eddy. Teddy Bembe eventually accepted his new role as a nobody in the Dambian kingdom.

As a result, he was asked to settle all the unpaid tax he owned the kingdom. He tried to go to the kingdom`s courts. But the courts wanted everyone to be law abiding citizens by paying tax.

“Tax evasion is a serious crime Teddy Bembe. Please, pay or else you will have your property confiscated,” said the judge. “But please, Judge why should I pay? Remember that with my Pest newspaper I helped install kings in this kingdom. I was even the first person to call Kafupi Kaluba as a thief before you all realised it. Please, give me the respect I deserve,” complained Teddy Bembe.

“I am sorry brother Teddy, it is the rule of law. No one is above the law. Not even me. In bemba there is a saying that mwikala patalala mwine apatalalika. If you don`t want any intimidation from the tax authorities just pay.

It is as simple as that,” said the judge. “No, I am above the law. I am Teddy Bembe, in case you have a short memory,” he responded.

“Well good luck with that, Teddy Bembe,” said the judge, before he dismissed the case.

A few days later, Teddy Bemba had his Pest newspaper closed by the tax authorities and he cried foul blaming King Eddy for his failure to honour.

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