Pastor Walter Masocha

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Walter Masocha
Prophet Walter Masocha Agape Ministries
Walter Masocha
ChurchAgappe For All Nations Church
MetropolisUnited Kingdom
Personal details
Born (1964-02-09) February 9, 1964 (age 55)
Zimbabwe
NationalityZimbabwean
DenominationChristian
ResidenceUnited Kingdom
SpouseJudith Masocha (nee Lewis)
OccupationReligious Leader
ProfessionAcademic
Alma materUniversity of Strathclyde

Walter Masocha is a Zimbabwean born religious figure based in the United Kingdom who founded Agape For All Nations Ministries In January 2014, Masocha was arrested in the UK for allegedly sexually abusing female congregants in church by tricking them to come to his bedroom on the pretext that he wanted to deal with demons possessing them. In April 2015, Masocha was convicted of the crimes but won an appeal in February 2016 when the convictions were squashed. In December 2018, his church suspended him[1] following an apparent admission by Masocha that he had had sexual relations with his own married daughter.[2]

Background

Walter Masocha was born on February 9, 1964 in Harare to Adolf Mangwiro and Juliana Masocha. He is married to Judith Masocha. Masocha was previously employed by Stirling University as a lecturer before venturing into full-time ministry.[3]

Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor in Accounting with honors, University Zimbabwe (1987)
  • Master of Science in Fin., University Strathclyde, Scotland, (1993)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting & Fin., University Strathclyde, Scotland, (2000)
  • Masocha is also a Certified Public Accountant, registered public accountant.

Professional career

He was a Management auditor at theUnited Nations Development Program in Zimbabwe between 1994 and 1996 before becoming a lecturer in accounting & finance at the University of Stirling in Scotland starting in 2000.

Ministry Background

Agape church grew from very humble beginnings in Masocha's house. It had grown to be an international organisation with branches in other countries such as Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.[4] Acoording to Masocha, he started out as a part-time preacher with Forward With Faith International Ministry before he received a divine visitation asking him to to set up his own church and call it Agape.

Sexual Abuse Arrest In 2014 and 2015 Conviction

In 2014 Masocha was arrested on charges of abusing two of his female followers. One of the victims was Jean Gasho a prominent internet blogger also in the UK, who is a former deaconess of the church. The other was a girl aged 15. Gasho who brought the matter to light testified in a Flakirk Sherrif Court saying Masocha had groped her after private parts claiming he was praying for her to recover from a stomach complaint. She also told the court that in 2012 Masocha hugged her very intimately and caressed her back while kissing her neck. Gasho was married at the time and had four children. Gasho left the church and her marriage and blogged about her experiences.[5]

Masocha pleaded not guilty to the sexually assaulting a woman at the Church of Agape and engaging in sexual activity towards a schoolgirl at its base at Sauchieburn, Stirling. However, he was found guilty by a jury of 7 men and 7 women in April 2015 and he was sentenced in May 2015 to 250 hours community service. Many people voiced their concerns against claiming the sentence did not do justice to the gravity of the offenses committed by Masocha.[6]

Appeal

Following the conviction, Masocha's lawyers challenged the conviction and in February 2016, Scotland's senior judge, the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, said convictions against Walter Masocha would be quashed saying there had been alleged misdirection at his trial on a point over prior inconsistent statements.[7]

Suspension from his church after second sexual scandal

In December 2018, his church released a statement of suspending him. The church's suspension message on its website read:

Following recent development in which the Visionary, Dr Walter Masocha, with his own volition admitted that in his private life, he had a moral fall; he has been suspended with immediate effect as leader of the church Agape For All Nations Ministries International (AFANMI/Agape). The Vision of AFANMI whose goal is to find the lost and equip the found, continues under the leadership of the Commissioners. A full investigation will be conducted and appropriate action taken for the reputational damage to his wife Dr Judith and the wider community of believers especially in Agape. In the current state of affairs, we have a duty of care to offer spiritual, moral and emotional support to the wider member of the church who are affected, Dr Judith & family and also to Dr Walter Masocha.[1]

A blog post by a former alleged victim of Masocha revealed that Masocha had confessed to having sexual relations with his own married daughter. Said Gasho:

I Mary-Tamar was Jean Gasho, can reveal today on Christmas day 2018 that ‘Prophet’ Walter Masocha has stepped down as leader of Agape For All Nations Ministries International after he allegedly confessed to having sex with his married daughter.

This comes after the daughter’s husband is reported to have found explicit messages and nude pictures that his wife had been allegedly sending to her own father Walter Masocha. The husband is reported to have taken his wife’s phone with all the evidence to her mother Judith Masocha, who confronted her husband ‘the prophet’, and he admitted to sleeping with their married daughter. Judith is reported to be divorcing Walter Masocha after the shameful revelations which have left the Agape members in shock and disbelief.[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 AFANMI News , Agappe For All Nations Church, Retrieved: 05 Jan 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prophet Walter Masocha Steps Down As Leader Of Agape Church After Allegedly Confessing To Sleeping With His Married Daughter, Jean Gasho, Published: 25 December 2018, Retrieved: 07 Jan 2019
  3. How sex shame ‘prophet’ did it, NewsDay, Published: May 18, 2015, Retrieved: June 4, 2015
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named newsdzezimbabwe
  5. Victoria Allen and Rachel Watson, Shmed Pastor Drive Mother To Kill Her Son, Scottish Daily Mail, Published:28 April 2015, Retrieved:05 Jan 2019
  6. Lauren Crooks ‘He said I had demons in my pants and he was pinging them away’, Nehanda Radio, Published: July 27, 2015, Retrieved: July 27, 2015
  7. Pastor Masocha's sex convictions quashed by appeal judges, BBC, Published: 09 February 2016, Retrieved: 05 Jan 2019