FRANCIS IMBUGA was born 1947 in Wenyange village in western Kenya. He is a renowned Kenyan playwright, actor and producer.
Betrayal in the City is a political play. The writer examines the problems of independence and freedom in post-colonial states in Africa. The play talks about military regimes that were common on the African continent after independence. Many of such regimes were later overthrown by coup de tats. Francis Imbuga’s major concern is betrayal at two levels, both at a personal and government level. Betrayal in the City shows a decay in morals, greed for power, material possessiveness and selfishness.
Doga and Nina lament as they mourn their dead son, Adika. The old couple wishes to perform a ritual for their dead son. This effort is hampered by express directions from the government brought by Mulili and Jere claiming that ritual should not go on in the interest of peace; but Doga and Nina are adamant. Their only remaining son, Jusper, is imprisoned. This shows us what is happening in Kafira - the corruption, injustice and oppression of the people.
Critics of the government are not tolerated. Jere and Mosese are henceforth put into prison over false charges. They both suffer the pain of the government’s betrayal. Jere painfully says:
“When the madness of an entire nation disturbs a solitary mind, it is not enough to say the man is mad.”
Government officials make use of any opportunity to make money through unfair means. Tumbo for instance declares Jusper the winner of the play writing competition and awards him the winner’s prize money. One third of the six hundred pounds to finance the play writing competition is given to Jusper and his girl friend, Regina; and the remaining two thirds to put records straight emphasizing that everything is being done in strict confidence. Despite all this Jusper vows to revenge someday even if it means going it alone since he knows