The mood was electrifying. The setting was Harare's Glamis stadium, once popular in the early 80s for horse riding/jumping shows. Crowds had started gathering in the early hours of Wednesday 11 February to witness Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), leader Morgan Richard Tsvangirai's inauguration speech.
On the other side of the capital at the residence of the state president, a smaller group of prominent people and diplomats was also gathering for the swearing in ceremony, that was initially slated for 11am but only happened much later. This was a by invitation only ceremony.
I watched the proceedings from the office television set. Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe looked tense and like they had been dragged screaming and kicking to the ceremony. The MDC leader took his oaths of office followed by the leader of the other faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara who smiled and looked more at home with Mugabe as they bantered amicably. Next was Tsvangirai's deputy Thokozani Khupe who has now become one of the two deputy prime ministers.
The ceremony was dry and lacked the excitement expected at such occasions. For the first time in many years, western diplomats normally shunned and vilified were invited to state house. This was indeed turning out to be an important day - a day on the political calendar remembered as the day South Africa's Nelson Mandela was freed from prison over a decade ago.
Back at the stadium crowds continued pouring in. Accompanied by colleagues, I went to join the crowds and witness the closest Zimbabwe could hope to get to a "Barack Obama" moment.
By mid-day it was getting hot and sticky but more and more people were determined to bear witness to the new political dispensation. They thronged the stadium, stood or sat patiently while others danced to the blaring music.
Even when it started raining, they waited patiently for their leader. A few colourful umbrellas popped open and those without shared with fellow supporters. Others just remained standing or sitting in the downpour.
Sitting in the shade I was amazed at their resilience. Still the music continued and the dancing carried on. I have not seen so many happy faces in one place for a very long time. It was moving. Black and white people sat and chatted animatedlywith a touching comaraderie.
When MDC secretary general Tendai Biti (tipped to be next finance minister) arrived at the stadium, the crowd erupted, waving their hands they chanted Gono, Gono, in reference to the central bank governor, whom people blame for the country's economic malaise andexpect MDC to get rid of. The party spokesman, the youthful Nelson Chamisa also sent the supporters wild.
The arrival of the man himself, Tsvangirai was a moment to behold. The crowd that had earlier endured the heat and later the rain was ecstatic. Emotions ran high. Journalists normally unseen in this country where journalism was almost barred, scrambled to take a peak and photographers jostled to get the best picture.
And when he stood to speak, Tsvangirai was a far cry from the man who took the first steps towards change in September 1999. He was confident and spoke eloquently about the challenges ahead.
"To my fellow African leaders, there can be no turning back on the political agreement, which each party has signed, knowing this is not a perfect agreement, buta workable one, an agreement that, if implemented with good faith, will deliver a peaceful way forward - towards a stable economy, new constitution and free and fair elections," he told the crowd.
As prime minister, he promised to help restore the rule of law, respect of human rights. In the heat of the moment apart from promising an independent media, the new prime minister promised Zimbabwe's workforce foreign currency denominated salaries.
Politicians have a tendency to get carried away. Unless Tsvangirai is privy tosomething we are not aware of, I am quite convinced in this instance he got drunk on the adoration of his supporters and promised an undeliverable. Unless he has his own foreign currency printing press, I do not know where he will get the money.
He raised people's hopes and my sincere hope is that he will deliver for his own sake and more importantly for the sake of all Zimbabweans who stood by the MDC through thick and thin. Political prisoners still locked behind bars will also hold him to his promise. Wherever this new road takes him, may the force be with him.