By Mashudu Netsianda
Veteran journalist and former Chronicle Sports Editor Innocent Kurwa (63) died early yesterday morning after his car, a Nissan Almera, was involved in a head-on collision along Leopold Takawira Avenue in Bulawayo.
The accident occurred on Saturday at around 9PM near Ascot Shopping Centre and Kurwa succumbed to the injuries at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) at around 2AM yesterday.
Witnesses said Kurwa was travelling from the city centre heading to his home in Sunninghill suburb. Soon after passing the UBH turn-off, another vehicle emerged from the opposite direction and encroached onto his traffic lane resulting in a collision.
Kurwa was trapped in the wreckage and the ambulance crew later managed to rescue him. He was taken to the UBH where he succumbed to the injuries at about 2AM.
Sunday News Senior Reporter Robin Muchetu, who arrived at the scene a few minutes after the accident, said she managed to contact an ambulance, which took Kurwa to UBH.
“I arrived at the scene at around 9PM and he was still trapped in the wreckage. He managed to recognise me as he was groaning in pain and I immediately called an ambulance, which took him to UBH,” she said.
“When they took him to hospital, I thought he would make it, but sadly I received a call from nurses at UBH at around 2AM this morning notifying me of his death.”
The wreckage of Kurwa’s vehicle
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said the driver of the other car, a Jaguar sedan was speeding and encroached onto the lane of oncoming traffic resulting in the two cars colliding.
“I can confirm that two cars, a Nissan Almera and Jaguar were involved in a head on collision along Leopold Takawira Avenue near Ascot Shopping Centre on Saturday night. The driver of the Nissan Almera sustained severe injuries after he was trapped in the wreckage while the other motorist sustained minor injuries,” he said.
“They were both rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals but unfortunately the driver of the Nissan Almera, Innocent Kurwa (63) of Sunninghill suburb in Bulawayo, died a few hours later.”
Insp Ncube said they have opened a docket of culpable homicide charges against the driver of the offending car.
“The driver of the Jaguar was speeding and failed to control his car resulting in him encroaching onto the lane of oncoming traffic resulting in a head on. He is being charged for culpable homicide,” said Insp Ncube.
Family spokesperson Mr Wonderful Makura said they were saddened by Kurwa’s untimely death.
“His death came as shock to us and as a family we have lost a pillar. He was a dependable and honest person in whom we had bestowed our trust as a family,” he said.
Mr Makura said the family is yet to meet and discuss on funeral arrangements.
Kurwa started his journalism career at the Chronicle in the 1980s rising through the ranks and became the paper’s Sports Editor. He left Chronicle to further his studies at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
Kurwa held a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Economics and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) as well as MSc in Development Studies (Nust).
Between March 1997 and September 1998, he worked for Moto Magazine in Gweru as Editor. He then joined the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) where he was General Manager between 1998- 2005.
Upon retirement, he was involved in freelance work. An avid sports writer, Kurwa once had a column “On the Ball” in the Southern Eye.
At the time of his death, Kurwa was an adjudicator for the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ).
A devout Catholic, Kurwa also served as the church’s social communications officer for the Archdiocese of Bulawayo.
Kurwa is survived by three children, two sons and a daughter. Mourners are gathered at Number 103 Walsingham Drive in Sunninghill suburb, Bulawayo.
Kurwa’s wife, Getrude together with her mother was killed four years ago in a road traffic accident almost similar to that of her husband.
Mrs Kurwa, who was taking her mother back to Kwekwe after a medical review at Gweru General Hospital, collided head- on with a PCJ bus just after Regina Mundi High School along the Gweru-Kwekwe highway in February 2017. The Chronicle