John Masuku
John Masuku Biography
BornJohn Raphael Masuku
RelativesJaphet Masuku

John Raphael Masuku is a veteran Zimbabwean broadcaster and columnist. He is the executive director of Radio Voice of the People (VOP) in Zimbabwe. Masuku is a CMDS Fellow and is a former Motlanthe Commission spokesperson.


Masuku was wartime broadcaster Japhet Masuku's nephew. His grandfather Wulumeni and Japhet’s father Mankunku sons of Phugeni Masuku of eMalungwane area, Esigodini were direct brothers.[1]


John Masuku is a holder of a BSc Honours in Politics and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe and an MPhil in Journalism from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, John trained in radio broadcasting and broadcast management at BBC, London, UK and Deutsche Welle, Cologne, Germany.

He attended CEU summer courses on Media Capture, 2017 and Funding Journalism this year at the Center for Media Data and Society, Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.[2]


He started his broadcasting career at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) in 1974 as a radio announcer/producer, rising through the ranks to become general manager of radio services, responsible for four national radio stations. John Masuku left ZBC in 2002 to join Radio VOP.[2]

On 29 August 2018, Masuku was the spokesperson of the Motlanthe Commission.[3]

Awards & Honours

While at ZBC he won the Union of Radio and Television Organisations in Africa (URTNA) Nelson Mandela Prize for his radio documentary, Beira Corridor-Zimbabwe's Eastern Trade Passage, a joint Prix Futura award for the drama Changes dealing with challenges faced by professional women in Africa. Masuku led Radio VOP to win the BBC sponsored international One World Media prize for promoting human rights in a politically volatile environment. In 2013, John Masuku was awarded the Press Freedom prize for his work promoting free expression and ethical journalism while working in a polarised, repressive media situation.[2]


In 2003, John Masuku was searched and Radio VOP administrative files and a computer used in programme production were confiscated.

On 3 June, Masuku, Katiwa and Chimenya returned to the Central police station in the company of their lawyer, Jacob Mafume. The police informed them that they had not found anything suspicious in the computer or the files. These were immediately returned to them. However, the police said they had been unable to recover their mobile phones and minidisks and advised them to report the items as stolen. Masuku confirmed that they have since filed a report with the police.[4]

On 19 December 2006, John Masuku was arrested for allegedly breaching the Broadcasting Act. Masuku was charged with broadcasting without a license on December 23 2006.

Masuku was released after paying $4 million bail and was told to appear in court on 13 January 2007.

Masuku and Radio VOP chairman, David Masunda handed themselves to the police after warrants of their arrest were issued. Police released Masunda with no charge but detained Masuku.[5]


  1. Remembering Japhet Masuku: war time broadcaster, Sunday News, Published: December 19, 2021, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Non-Resident CMDS Fellows, CMDS, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  3. Fidelis Munyoro, Motlanthe Commission speaks out, The Herald, Published: December 4, 2018, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  4. Journalists detained, interrogated, beaten and searched; equipment confiscated, IFEX, Published: June 4, 2003, Retrieved: April 29, 2022
  5. Zimbabwe: VOP Boss Released On $4m Bail, allAfrica, Published: December 24, 2022, Retrieved: April 29, 2022