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Thursday,November 26,2020 17:04 PM

Supporting a wrong candidate

By Hilary Bainemigisha

Added 26th September 2020 01:14 PM

If it were possible, all families and, therefore, all couples, should support the same candidate. If this is not possible, each partner should endeavour to convince the other to change and support a single candidate.

Supporting a wrong candidate

Hilary Bainemigisha

If it were possible, all families and, therefore, all couples, should support the same candidate. If this is not possible, each partner should endeavour to convince the other to change and support a single candidate.

RELATIONSHIP| MARRIAGE | POLITICS 

My cousin in the village was one of the first casualties of National Resistance Movement primaries.

Yet she was not a candidate, was not rowdy nor was she a returning officer. She was a peace-loving citizen who voted for a wrong person.

Wrong person? Is there a wrong candidate in elections? Well, if I was an honest man, I would tell you that every candidate, in the current elective politics of Uganda is wrong.

So, if I say every candidate is right, I am trying to be official and political. Otherwise, they are all wrong! At least for hiding behind being social solutions with ulterior motives.

We just vote them because they are close enough to us to enable us reach out for the national cake crumbs at their dining table.

We also want to get someone to blame for our misfortunes. So, if all of us voted for these wrong candidates, why is my cousin being punished for it?

Her husband threw her out of the home because her candidate won and his, did not.

Those who support him for chasing her out say, one; my cousin was a rebel for supporting a rival to her husband's choice.

Two; she is an evil person for pretending in such a way that her husband did not notice that she was supporting a different person.

How could she be seen rejoicing at the victory of a rival? They ask.

I had the audacity of intervening and our in-law assured me he would allow her back.

He said it was a punishment for her being a snake in the green grass.

He argued that if she was sure there was no problem with supporting a rival, why did she pretend to support his candidate all along? I did not answer.

When handling such sensitive domestic cases involving your cousin and in-law, you do not bring in the English of human rights and constitutional freedoms; you focus on chasing the mongoose away first before analysing why the chicken was wondering about. 

Apparently, it is not an isolated incident. The Citizen Coalition For Electoral Democracy in Uganda were talking about the same dark clouds in many a home.

According to me, my cousin was innocent and tactical. She had her own preference and, once she discovered that her husband was intent for another, she kept her preference private for the case of keeping the fire out of the marriage's ivory tower.

But being an emotional person, her guard dropped during the celebrations and she took part in the partying.

Clashing support is a common misfortune in love, usually in football when couples support different teams.

Wives, being peacemakers, tend to restrain themselves from celebrating victory in the presence of a husband who supports a different team.

But in a stadium, it is absolutely risky to sit among supporters of a rival team and celebrate a conceded goal. It can cost you a life. That should explain why my cousin's victory party sparked off the fire in the marriage's ivory tower on the last day.

Unfortunately for them, her husband's candidate has announced he is standing as an independent.

I do not know how she is going to manage Season II of pretence those who have had orgasms in stolen place like a father-in-law's home, know how difficult it is to stiffle a physical wave of ecstasy.

As we get set for the main national election, we cannot rule out more family conflicts as a result of clashing support. What we can control is our reaction to it.

If it were possible, all families and, therefore, all couples, should support the same candidate. If this is not possible, each partner should endeavour to convince the other to change and support a single candidate.

Where this fails too, the partner who does not play the role of head of the household, should pretend to have been convinced for the sake of harmony.

This pretence is not as easy as it sounds. It involves steering clear of public display of support for your candidate and pretended support of your partner's person.

It is like having a lot of stomach gas in public. It is hard to keep the exhaust gates closed, but when it is at your in-laws' home, you try harder and keep your best pressure on the lock.

In all relationships, the value of magnanimity in victory cannot be over emphasised.

Magnanimity is the virtue of being great of mind and heart towards an enemy or someone you have defeated.

It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, to load your celebration in the face of the vanquished and a willingness to value continued relationships over a fleeting savouring of the success achieved over the competitor.

In love, for example, there is no eternal value in gloating loud and long over victory in such petty things as arguments. You value, instead, the continued love ambiance over petty wins.

You also avoid rubbing the misfortune of defeat in your partner. So, in case your candidate wins, you celebrate with your partner's feelings in mind.

Where this fails, prayer follows asking the good Lord to prevail over the partner not to take the offence so personally.

Family and love are so more important and durable than politics. But where this fails too, the arguments of who is right and wrong do not hold water.

Efforts should instead be deployed in forgiveness and reconciliation. Once your partner feels aggrieved, it does not matter whether you are justified or not.

What matters more is to return the partner's disposition back to normal. When the elections are long done, you two will be there for each other.

hbainemigisha@newvision.co.ug

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