Corruption is drawn from greed. Greed is driven by the desire to achieve more in the shortest time possible. In Betrayal in the City, there is a lot of commotion created by the university students on the state of affairs in Kafira.
We begin with the words of Doga on his son’s grave, he says: “When you came into this world to search for your death, you found the money here. Now you are silent, but money is still here. Do not let them tempt you. Follow them to the bitter end.” (pg4) This words give us a deep impression of how corruption is ingrained in kafira society that even the dead are bribed as an appeasement policy. However, Doga is not pleased with such a gesture. He apostrophizes with his son demanding justice from him who is lain.
Secondly, Boss buys Mulili’s loyalty with a piece of farm and grade cattle. This blinds Mulili’s perception of the pain and agony in his society. Jere pleads with him to be reasonable enough and let the old couple do their ceremony in peace but he is adamant.
Furthermore, when Tumbo is given the responsibility to chair the entertainment committee, he selects Jusper as the winner of the play writing winning contest which had been allocated 600 pounds. Tumbo says that, “I give one third to the two of you. The other two thirds will be used to put the records straight.” (Pg49) By keeping the records straight Tumbo meant bribing some people to keep silent about the deal.
Despite his protests for a clean government, Jusper seems pleased with the arrangement. He agrees to follow the exemplary life of Tumbo. He recognizes that as young people, they receive the fruits of independence second hand. This was after Tumbo told him to keep the change of the money he had used to buy the drinks.
In another discussion Kabito says that he had spent the whole night being nice to people only to lose the university tender to Mulili. By being nice we can presume that the guy spent quite a lump sum to get the tender but Mulili had the power advantage as we learn later in the play.
Finally, we learn of Boss’s ill gained wealth from Mulili. According to Mulili, when reporting Kabito, Boss has stashed money in foreign account. When we see Boss’ reaction we are inclined to believe that Mulili was telling the truth and that, such a secret in public could be Boss’ ruin, that’s why he had to be eliminated.