Kenyan Diaspora Pro-democracy Movement

October 19, 2006

"Betrayal in the City" by Francis Imbuga

Filed under: Uncategorized — kdpm @ 3:14 am

Today I woke up with my mind traveling down memory lane. I remembered some of the books that I read as a young man in high school. I thought of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart“. I also thought of Elechi Amadi’s “Concubine” but the book that stuck on my mind the whole day was Frank Imbuga’s “Betrayal In the City

In Betrayal In The City, play wright Francis Imbuga paints a picture of an independent African state, which has to bare the brunt of repressive leadership.

The head of the state of Kafira, who is perfectly referred to as “Boss”, gives no room to alternative view.Those around him perpetrate this, and even believe that Boss’ interests have to be protected, whatever the case and cost.

One of the characters, Mosese wa Tonga, who succumbs to this repression, looks back, in the history, and into the future of Kafira under Boss, and what he sees is emptiness.

He envisages a state failed by the politics of bad policy, improper ideology, tribalism and corruption.

Reading Betrayal In The City, one does not escape the nostalgia that informs the disillusioned citizens of Kafira; from the peasants in the village to the elite in the city.

Mosese sums this up in the resounding words; “It was better while we waited. Now we have nothing to look forward to. We have killed our past and are busy killing our future…” What ails Kafira is the spectre of Political realism. This is a socio-political Darwinism in which those in leadership believe that by whatever means they got to their positions, they were born to lead over others.

Alexander Mosley, in the On-line encyclopediaaedia of Philosophy © 2005, says Political realism .. takes the assumption that power is (or, ought to be) the primary end of political action… it assumes that interests are to be maintained through the exercise of power.True, this is how dynasties and kingdoms exercised power before the emergence of nation states brought about by political revolutions and civilization.

Civilization meant that nation states exercise universal suffrage and a doctrine that those affected by social institutions participate in their established management.

Coming back to the Church and mission organizations in the 21st Century, one wonders how many churches/organizations are suffocating under the authoritarian leadership of “Boss” and his lieutenants. I hate to imagine it but the more I talk to people who have been in the church/mission organizations for a long time, the more I realize how Francis Imbuga’s novel brings out the sufferings of many faithfuls and clergy. How I wish some churches/mission organizations would just take this book and read it then prayerfully and humbly glean some valuable insights from it.



  1. Feb 25, 2009
    The Honorable Baracka H. Obama
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC
    Dear Mr. President:
    Letter of Request

    We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy towards African Dictators is not succeeding, and that the natives may soon face a threat in Africa more serious than any we have known since the Mugabe war. We are requesting you to chart a clear and determined course for meeting the threat of undemocratic leaders in Africa like His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Dictator of the Republic of Uganda. We urge you to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and your friends and allies around the world in Africa. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Dictatorship regimes from power in Africa namely in Libya, Zimbabwe, Congo, Sudan and Uganda. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.
    The strategy of “suppression” of African Dictators like Robert Mugabe has been steadily eroding over the past several regimes. As recent events have demonstrated, your country can no longer depend on her partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to espouse the sanctions or to punish African Dictators when they evade U.S.A and its policies in Africa. Your ability to ensure that African famous dictators are not producing the various terrorist organizations like the East African Terrorist group groomed by Museveni to disturb the neighboring countries namely Rwanda and Congo, therefore, has substantially shrieked. Even if full follow-up was eventually to start as you promised in your inauguration speech, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to deal with such bad regimes since they are supported financially by the People’s Republic of China. As a result, in the not-too-distant future U.S.A will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether in Africa such leaders can be dealt with for their terrorist movements and crimes committed against humanity.
    Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Africa. It hardly needs to be added that if Africa dictators are left alone and oppress their people when powerful countries that can help are standing indifferent to the crimes committed, then the safety of American foreign policy in the region, of U.S.A friends and allies like Liberia and the moderate African states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of mineral products will all be put at peril. As we have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the second part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how U.S.A handles this threat.
    Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the cooperation of the Africa Dictators, is dangerously laughable. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Africa will with the help of China eliminate the policies of U.S.A and therefore continues with the crimes against humanity like in Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Eastern Congo et al. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake strong action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing these Dictators especially President Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and President Bashir of Islamic Republic of Sudan and their regimes from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy in Africa.
    We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration’s attention to implementing a strategy for removing these regimes from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the opposition and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater.
    We push for you to act decisively. If you act now to end this threat against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If you accept a course of weakness and gist, you put your interests and the lives of the people who are helpless at risk.
    Katto Amons R. James
    Mafigiri Davids T. Ireen
    Eric Turyamureeba N. Phionah
    Jerry Hastings Turwomwe Betty
    Paul Frank Kiiza Francis
    Nabwire Francis Abubaker Hussain
    Abraham Nkasheeka Kamuntu Michael


    Comment by Amnons — May 6, 2009 @ 11:27 am | Reply

    • Hi guys
      I think your letter sounds too much unreasonable, archaic and treacherous. How can America help us when we are actually suffering under her capitalistic and imperialistic ideologies. America is just a pest, a jigger which will coming looking for your leg to suckle your blood. Awake! Brothers. The solution to African problems is ourselves. How do you talk of offering them minerals when you know too well that it is for their own good? It is time you people knew that America does everything she does in the name of humanitarian aid just to pave her way to want she want. Why do you think they have engineered the murder of one of our beloved leaders Gaddaffi? It is because he was struggling for a united Africa, something the Americans do not want. A united Africa will be able to stand on its own and provide for itself everything it needs. Gaddafdfi was murdered because he was trading with the Russians for oil and not the Americans. You should think twice brothers before calling in a vampire to come and suckle our own blood.

      Comment by lutomia eshitika — November 18, 2011 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

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