KCSE REVISION QUESTIONS FROM BETRAYAL IN THE CITY BY musungu

Those in Power Apply Various Means to Silence Their Critics Discuss in Agreement With This Allegation

After writing his allegory the Animal Farm in 1945, George Orwell came up with a dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) a year later. 1984 is an exaggerated novel about authoritarian governments which controls everything including what we think. If ones thoughts are against the inner party, he/she is guilty. This is how George Orwell captures the ills of authoritarianism.

Fast forward in 1976, Francis Imbuga comes up with his masterpiece Betrayal in the City. The book captures the African authoritarianism in the perspective of a confused continent that grapples with the identity crisis.

In his dystopian play, Francis Imbuga explains the way Boss’s regime like the Big Brother’s, try to muffle the free will of the people. At the beginning, the family of Nina and Doga is denied the chance to carry out their final funeral rite due to interest of peace. In this case, the government curtails the freedom of assembly. Back in 2008, the government of Kenya under Mwai kibaki banned all rallies in or around Nairobi including mass action after the disputed December 2007 elections. The then government said this was done in the interest of peace as people died in the Rift Valley. In real sense the government was fearing a civilian coup which was imminent given the then state of the nation.

Secondly, the government of Kafira, from what we learn in the words of Doga, uses brutal force to silence dissents. According to Doga, Adika was killed by four bullets. This is what many authoritarian governments finish the troublesome and instil fear in the electorate.

The government also according to Mosese took over the burial of Adika and controlled every word that was said at the funeral. It planted spies allover and when Mosese condemned the killing, he was locked away. Similarly, when Jere condemns the indiscriminate disregard of the elderly and culture he is locked in. Detentions have always worked in Africa to remove radicals on the streets. Secondly, in Kenya the torture chambers were meant to extract information from those arrested to arrest more people who were perceived to be plotting a coup against the reigning government.

Lastly, the government suppresses the freedom of the media. Jusper says that, all they wanted was his (Adika) photo and a few words in the newspapers. The newspaper decline to go ahead with it because of the fear of the government. Presently, they have been talks of the media buyout by the government. However, it has been difficult to control the marauding social media that acts as an exposee to the atrocities in the government. However some bloggers in Kenya have been threatened with detention for being too radical.

Authoritarian regimes believe that they will be in power until thy kingdom come, due to their inadequacies in fulfilling government agenda, they bedevil their societies with a lot of suppressions that make life unbearable. Instead of this governments creating unity they lead to outbreaks and finally revolutions which are always catastrophic to the larger populace.

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