Why can’t elections ever be simple in Zimbabwe? Why do they always have to be hideous at worst and complicated at best? That, more or less, is what most urban folk say or would say if asked about the state of play after opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance candidate Nelson Chamisa lodged his challenge to results of the presidential election at the Constitutional Court in Harare last Friday. The court can insist on a recount, declare a winner, or call for a fresh or run-off election in 60 days. It must make its decision, which cannot be challenged, by month-end. The format for the present challenge emerged from multiparty negotiations for the 2013 constitution because in previous elections, beginning with the presidential poll in 2002, the MDC had been fobbed off by the court system. But most punters say they expect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory to endure, despite the legal challenge. The nine-member Constitutional Court is, they say, beholden to Mnangagwa’s ruling...

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