tom-cheney-frankly-sheila-i-find-this-the-most-awkward-part-of-our-divorce-agreeme-new-yorker-cartoon.jpgI do like to take advantage of any situation that causes excitement. Some are life changing and would not be taken lightly. But Overnight, we have become ‘experts’ on EU affairs, Britain and the Brexit. As a citizen of Uganda, which is a member of the Commonwealth, I am a ‘silent voter ‘.

Divorce. A very unpleasant situation or phase. And my divorce was so smooth that I would not draw much comparison here. It lacked drama. But the pain that I had carried for years was real. So were the inevitable challenges of adjustment to a new life, a new status, and the effect on our children.

You guage your situation and try to make it work. For goodness sake it is a union of covenant or some registered arrangement. There were witnesses to the solemnisation of this union. Both parties have invested time and resources and made a home. The network of friends had expanded and, hopefully, prosperity has visited you. In Africa, marriage is deeply rooted in the wider family.

However, one of you or both, are now disenchanted. At what point do you realize you need to leave? How much thought have you given it? In whose interest is your intended exit? How unprejudiced is the decision to leave? How many stakeholders are there in this your union?

But there may be issues in this union. Little (whatever the age) loved ones for whom you both toil day and night. With whom you sit around the table and crack jokes as you share a meal. Whose livelihood and wellbeing is dependent on both of you. You are parents. Maybe they are too little to understand. Or perhaps there are some old ones. At what point do you let them in on it? How much can they understand or take in? Is it likely to polarise your home? How will it affect them?

Well, this is one exit you will have to undertake without subjecting the issue to a referendum. At least, no Electoral system need be involved. But people’s views may sway the tide. How much time will you give to consultation before you seek legal arbitration? Perhaps it could be resolved and cause change of mind and heart, and issues resolved. Maybe not.

Here however, you will not be allowed to stay in your ‘office’ to oversee any transition. To kick off the campaign period, both parties will be required to stay apart. They will have to prove, later on, that they have endured and managed to live without each other.
When the hammer falls, in this case both will be deemed to have left the union, regardless of who filed the complaint.

And, like for Britain now, time will tell. It doesn’t compare well, does it? But it stumulates our mind.

(c) Alexandra Kukunda 2016


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