Elections are over and President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF should be forward-looking as it seems inevitable that they are going to form the next government. People want food on the table, period.
It is not in the people’s interest to be fed with political rhetoric at the expense of the basics that make them survive. Food on the table should be taken to mean what it symbolises — food, healthcare, education, jobs and good service delivery, among other things.
It is disheartening to hear Mugabe engage in political rhetoric, blasting imagined enemies as if he is still in campaign mode.
Campaigning is over and reality cannot be wished away.
People expect the new government to deliver, to make their lives worthwhile. After inauguration, Mugabe will not be the president of Zanu PF alone, but the president of this nation.
This entails that he will be the leader of those who voted him into power and those who did not and ironically, both parties will hold him accountable for the welfare of the nation.
And the standard test that he will have to pass, like any head of government the world over, is the competency of his government in bringing food to the people’s table.
Mugabe should be psyching up those in his party with whom he is going to form the next government to pull up their socks in preparation for serving the needs of the people.
The enemy is not the people; the enemy is power cuts, hunger, unemployment, corruption, dry taps, poor roads, injustice and partisanship, among others.
These are issues that inevitably turn people against their leaders.
Even the most stupid person (if such exists) will be awakened to wisdom by phenomena such as hunger, dry taps and injustice, among others.
Political rhetoric works temporarily, but hunger and its concomitant ills work effectively to make people measure the seriousness of their government in addressing issues that affect them.
It is not political rhetoric that will fill the belly of a hungry child, but a morsel of food. It is not a “gift” of $20 to an unemployed youth to buy beer that will ease his unemployment problems, but a thriving economy with a vibrant industry.
It is not the scrapping of bills that will make water gush out of taps, but pumped water from relevant waterworks.
And the burden to facilitate the provision of these lies squarely on the shoulders of the future government. Hence it is important for Mugabe and his new government to pass the stern test of providing food on the people’s tables, a task that calls for them to look at things as they are, not as what they imagine them to be.
Reality does not lie in political people, reality is right there among the people.