FORMER NewsDay news editor, Mernat Mafirakurewa (pictured), died on the spot on Wednesday night when his vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a South African-bound bus near Beatrice along the Masvingo to Harare highway.
He was 33.
According to witnesses, the accident also claimed one passenger on the SA-bound bus. Sunday News senior reporter Roberta Katunga, who was travelling with Mafira, as he was affectionately known, was injured and is currently admitted at a private hospital in Harare.
Mafirakurewa, who was currently the Chronicle’s business editor, and Katunga were on their way from Bulawayo to Harare for the launch of the National Tourism Policy which took place yesterday.
Social media networks were yesterday abuzz with condolence messages from fellow journalists, friends and relatives.
Chronicle acting editor Innocent Madonko expressed shock and sadness at the tragic loss and described Mafirakurewa as a diligent, intelligent, humble and dedicated scribe whose death has left a big void that will be difficult to fill.
“We are truly devastated by the loss of such a fine young man. By far he was one of the best desk editors in the newsroom, his death has robbed us of a brilliant journalist and fine gentleman. Our hearts go out to his family, particularly his wife and children,” Madonko said.
Born in 1981, Mafirakurewa started his career at the Sunday News as a business reporter in 2003 before moving to the Chronicle business desk in 2008.
In 2010 he joined NewsDay as a senior reporter before moving to the business desk and was later elevated to the post of business editor.
He was later moved to the post of news editor until his return to the Chronicle in April this year.
Mourners are gathered at number 557 Rydale, Ridge Park in Harare and burial arrangements are yet to be announced.
Mafirakurewa is survived by his wife, Samu, and three children.
His death came hardly a day after that of freelance journalist Zeacheaus Nemadire who was killed close to his Bluff Hill home by suspected robbers. — Staff Writer.