Keeping it civil. By the time the cock crows on Saturday evening, the winners will be separated from the losers in the 2016 elections. Hopes will be crashed and hearts broken. If your name does not make it to Badru Kiggundu’s top list, take heart friends, Ian Ford Nkera guides on how to be the honourable loser.
Losing an election can be heartbreaking and confusing at the same time. People wonder how all these huge crowds that thronged their rallies could surely fox them at the last hour.
Imagine kneeling before peasants, making all these heavenly promises, giving them large sums of money and then they do not do the simplest thing such as ticking your damn name. Arghhhh.
You find all these bazeeyi on the kaalo (village) devoting their support to you during campaigns but then act blind to your name on the ballot. Bayuda, bayuda everywhere. Guys sell their property and get strangled by loans all in the name of “I am here to serve you” but what happens after? A shocking defeat no one saw coming.
The only thing you will see coming is loan sharks ready to camp at your balcony and demand for what is lawfully theirs. Despite all this, the Lord is with you, so take heart. If you intend to face defeat with honour, here is your guide:
Thank the electorate
It does not matter whether you mean it or not, thank them. Yes, they could have foxed you, but life moves on.
Make a lap around the village and wear the most infectious smile while you thank them for their support, though realistically this is a big task.
Tell them how their support meant everything to you even if you wanted to rain blows on each and every one of them. Pretend to love them a lot and promise to be there when they need you. You are a politician, so lying should come naturally to you.
Hug that ka old woman who said you were their saviour. When her walking stick disappears shortly after that, deny that you had anything to do with it. The Lord will understand.
Make peace with your rival
This is the hard part I tell you. We all love to hate our enemies, especially if they are the same damn fools who beat us in the elections.
If you are going to make peace with, say Sekitoleko, who beat you in your own Parish, there is procedure.
First, fault him for tampering with the votes to show that you actually stood a chance even if the guy beat you by thousands of votes. You can now protest about how the elections were not free and fair. It is just a Ugandan thing, so adhere.
After that, weep before your elders who will gladly call your entire clan to console you. The village children will secretly celebrate that a cry baby did not become their leader but let’s ignore that.
After licking your wounds, make a public appearance where you hug Sekitoleko and promise to work with him regardless of whether you mean it or not. Resist the temptation to bite off his ear in the process. This isn’t good for public relations.
Attend his celebration party with a smile but it is understandable if you excuse yourself to go and cry out your sorrows a little. It is normal and part of the healing process. Avoid the trees to ward off any ideas of suicide.
Prepare for life after elections
This is the most trying time, especially if you envisioned yourself in a big office with AC and many personal assistants. If you want to lose honourably, keep your phone on just in case an opportunity comes up.
The loan sharks will keep calling, but do not ignore them. Tell them that you intend to pay them in future even if the future is also uncertain for you.
Stay visible, however, hard it is. Walk in town with vigour and ignore that useless small talk. Go to the supermarket, pick a trolley and comfortably slot in just one pint of milk, that which you can afford. No one will judge you for that. You can opt for an all carbohydrate meal of oats and porridge until things improve.
If things still feel hopeless, look at your government; your wife and children, which I believe can afford you a smile. There you go people. Take heart and be the honourable loser.
This is a humour column and the views expressed henceforth may not necessarily be an objective assessment of the individual or group.