THEMES FROM BETRAYAL IN THE CITY
Homicide is the unlawful killing of one person by another, in other words, murder. In many countries, murder carries a capital punishment. Homicide can take various forms ranging from, orchestrated road accident, and planned arson among others. Homicides include murder and manslaughter. Murder can be either of first degree or second degree. First degree includes an efficient planning before actually committing the murder. While second degree falls in the context of such murder like crime of passion where a lover kills the other. Manslaughter on the other hand is illegal killing that is just as well murder. Manslaughter means that the perpetrator did not really intend to kill the victim but ended up killing them.
Meanwhile, in the play Betrayal in the City the there are several cases of unexplained death that live the reader with unanswered questions. To begin with, it is evident that the killer of Adika really intended kill him. “…only four bullets were fired that day. Adika had four bullet wounds in his chest. (pg4)” This means that the killer new who Adika was and was intended to make sure that he died. Furthermore, Doga says, “… the sub chief’s brother was dismissed from his job.” This points to the fact that the suspected killer could have been the brother to the sub chief.
In addition, Doga proffers that “it is clear that the man at whose hands my son died lives among us (pg1)” On the other hand, Jusper claims to have killed a man and dragged the body into the river. When the body is found, it is that of Chagaga, the sub chief’s brother. This points to the fact that Chagaga could be the murderer who killed Adika. Meanwhile in his (Chagaga’s) quest to clean his mess, he was found by Jusper who killed him.
In another homicide, the parents of Jusper, Nina and Doga are found dead in their house. It is hard to place the killer but later in the play, Mulili tells Boss, “You remembers that old couple… (pg60)” We can easily tell he had a hand in the murder of the old couple.
Another person who is killed is kabito. We already know it was premeditated homicide from the discussion Mulili had with Boss (pg60). Mulili contradicts himself while explaining what had happened to Kabito. “I also ask that, then people say his breath smelled full of spirits. The hard stuff. When Nicodemo confirms whether it was the breath, Mulili denounces it replying it was the body.
Finally, Jusper kills Mulili in cold blood. He says he did it for Kafira. The death of Mulili marks the end of the play and like in E. B. Dongala’s short story, The man, we shall never know who the man behind the killing of Adika, Nina and Doga was. For the killer was killed before he could confess. Do you agree?