There is a medical condition, which some Ugandans are currently suffering from. It is not Covid, but another sickness, which comes around every few years in association with any form of voting. This particular condition can cause mass hysteria with various symptoms, depending on the severity.
It is a global phenomenon, with outbreaks every four to five years in various countries. While it was commonly more severe in Africa, recently it has manifested in a severe form in the USA with sufferers showing the loss of the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. Countries such as Britain usually only get a mild form of the condition – though Britain was severely affected during the Brexit referendum, inducing a mass nostalgic reaction for the by-gone days of the British Empire! This reaction was more pronounced in older people.
In Uganda the NRM Primaries have caused the latest outbreak, plunging certain districts into chaos. When people are first struck by the ailment they become hyperactive, with groups of people driving speeding vehicles, waving posters and flags, and hanging out the windows shouting at passers-by. As the malaise continues it can cause extreme excitement, but can progress to agitation, aggression and even violence.
Victims have been known to draw guns and have pitched battles, which has resulted in a number of deaths. In the final phase of the condition sufferers progress either to a state of euphoria, or severe depression, depending on the results of the voting. Those with the euphoric version parade around waving and smiling to the public, while those with the depressed version incite ‘strikes’, go on the radio and TV and make accusations against all manner of people. However, when one examines these patients closely one can see that they are demonstrating signs and symptoms of extreme desperation.
It appears that many of those who develop this desperation have indeed gone through elections previously, which had resulted in euphoria and happiness, which has lasted for five years. However, now, like drug addicts who cannot get another fix, they have become desperate.
This condition is akin to being bi-polar, in which the patient goes through periods of elation when he is ‘high’ but then falls into periods of depression and catatonia. Many of those suffering from the long term adverse effects of election fever indeed subsequently retreat from public life. Apparently the only cure is to be appointed to a prestigious job in some government office or regulatory body. But such a cure can only be administered by the President.
Another long-term side effect of election fever, which has been recognized among politicians who are seriously affected, is the tendency to take backstabbing and lying as normal behavior.
There are those who say, like Covid, that election fever does not exist, but those of us who have lived through it believe that it is very real and we should avoid it.
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