It has become a common sight, walking around the halls of residence, to see a note on the wall asking anyone who saw a laptop that has gone missing to report it. Most of the time, there is a promise of a cash reward for anyone with any useful information that would lead up to locating the lost laptop. And does not just stop at the laptop- it extends to phones, text books, bed sheets and in some bizarre cases of witchcraft, underwear. Theft in campuses has taken a toll on students. It is not anything new, but it still plagues Halls Custodians.

That is because the intruder is usually a fellow student. In most cases, your closest friends who has had a bad financial break and is need of a quick buck. They have studied your schedule. So when you are not looking, they will pinch your key and then make a copy. A campus can survive its fools- but not treachery from within. A traitor speaks in accents familiar to his victims and appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all students. When we grow up and they teach us a little about Cicero, perhaps we will agree that a murderer is less to fear, because a traitor is the plague itself.

In order to make the theft a little bit more believable, they will turn your room upside down. Break a few glasses, throw items around- make it look like someone was actually searching for something. They will leave your room a mess- like a snapshot of a politician’s conscience. The betrayal lies in the fray.

That is why those black and white posters on the corridors seldom bear any results.

I once lost my money, phone and clothing the same way. It like someone heard there was a promotion going on in my room. Funny enough, after making away with so many items, no single soul spotted anyone coming from my room. Of course the accusations began flying around. As a matter of fact, the thief is always the first one to point a finger at someone else. They will say something like; “I have never trusted that Mutua guy- his eyes are very suspicious. He idles around here aimlessly. We should check him out.” A crowd of campus security and an angry mob went through Mutua’s room with a fine comb, but nothing came out of the search.

After a while I decided to accept and move on. Until the day I found myself in Ngara to buy new clothes, only to find a bunch of my clothes up on sale. The whole lot of them. And he did not know a Mutua, I asked just to be sure.

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