Betrayal in the city is a classic play that laughs at the authority without making the authority uneasy of disturbed. Francis Imbuga hides the plight of African countries by using a fictional country of Kafira. In so doing, he evades condemning a specific country but leadership in Africa as a whole. Therefore, many Africans who enjoy the play laughs at the vices of kafira and the folly of its people in keeping silent while the leaders oppress them forgetting their own predicament.

The portrayal of Mulili as an illiterate ruthless man tons down the gravity of the vices he commits to satisfy his greed. Mulili’s death comes as a surprise although it was long overdue, the reader sympathizes with him given that he was blinded by his ambition and drive to please Boss. Mulili becomes a portrayal of ruthless men in the society who hide behind their ignorance. They get away with everything because society condemns brains like those of Jere and Mosese but lets the ignorant carry on in their midst.

Boss on the other hand feigns innocence. He plays on the fact that he did not orchestrate the murders or the vices in Kafira. By concealing Boss from the occurrences in kafira the playwright reveals to us the gravity of power. It is not in the letting your hands get dirty but concealing yourself from such acts. Just as many African leaders have gone scot free for crimes against humanity, it is the same with Boss. Mulili is sacrificed for the sins of Boss. The audience or reader can easily exonerate Boss from blame but the catch is, under whose authority did the vices occur?

Finally, the role of the larger mass of people in the society is cast to ridicule. The common people suffer most in despotic regimes, however, they do little to rise against such authoritarian governments. In most occasions they lie in shadows of despair and fear waiting for a god to come and save them from the brunt of dictatorships. It is a sharp irony when Jusper is punished when he confesses to killing Chagaga while those who commit mass murder like Mulili roam freely in the streets.



  1. This is good work.The author uses fictional characters to bring out the incompetence of our leaders more specifically in Kenya.He uses fictional characters to avert confrontation from other people.The problems that are facing most of African people is as a result of bad governance.Bad governance is shown through different ways such as corruption,nepotism,favouritism,neo-colonialism and mediocrity.

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