HARARE – On the streets of the capital, Zimbabweans let their emotions run free as they spoke of political and economic change after two decades of repression and deepening hardship.”These are tears of joy,” Frank Mutsindikwa told Reuters, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag.”I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.”Some held aloft placards reading “No to Mugabe dynasty” and pumping their fists in the air in a sign of freedom.

Others embraced the soldiers who seized power, shouting “Thank you! Thank you!” in scenes unthinkable even a week ago.

“These are our leaders now,” said Remember Moffat, waving a picture of army commander Constantino Chiwenga and Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president whose sacking this month precipitated the military intervention.

“My dream is to see a new Zimbabwe. I’ve only known this tyrant called Mugabe my whole life.”