Even flying into the Zimbabwean capital , Harare, it was clear the country was at a tipping point.

Two rows in front of us on the plane, the former prime minister and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Several rows further back, two of Robert Mugabe’s ministers on their way back from Russia.

:: Ex-PM Morgan Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe amid military ‘coup’

No-one wants to miss what could be the biggest change since independence almost 40 years ago.

The military are in control now. As we left the airport, soldiers with heavy calibre machine guns searching every vehicle driving in and out.

The streets seemed quiet – and at a junction we found the reason why.

:: No way back for Robert Mugabe

An armoured personnel carrier with troops, who realising we were filming them gave chase.

Their weapons were raised as we sped off. We were convinced they might open fire, but the shots never came.

:: How Zimbabwe has collapsed under Robert Mugabe

Our driver, a local opposition activist, spoke for all of us: OK, I think best to get the car off the road now.

Whatever happens, there appears to be a consensus – there will be no going back to the status quo here.

But how will the Mugabe end game be managed? Does he leave the country saving face? Does he stay here as some kind of titular head with the government being run by somebody else.

How different Zimbabwe is a day, a week, a month from now is unknowable, but will indeed be different.

(c) Sky News 2017: ‘We sped off’ to avoid heavily-armed troops in Zimbabwe’s tense capital Harare

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