Sexual abuse in churches


RECENTLY there have been some allegations of sexual and emotional abuse levelled against a Zimbabwean pastor in Scotland.
There have also been allegations of pastors telling sick people to throw away their medication and get healed through prayer.
Dr Walter Masocha of the Agape for All Nations Ministries based in Scotland was arrested by the Scottish Police in January this year amid alleged charges of sexual abuse to some of his female congregants, including a minor.
Often referred to as ‘Daddy’ by members of his congregation, especially by married women, one friend narrated to me how he was left shocked when he saw some women in the church scrambling to grab a dirty towel used by an usher to wipe the pastor’s face so that they could also wipe their faces with it. He also narrated how some congregants took turns to wear his shoes so that they got anointed.
“It was just before my close friend’s wedding (name supplied) in Oxford and I was one of his best mates.
“Dr Masocha and his wife took a flight from Scotland.
“We were still doing the final touches for the wedding when he came.
“Three of the bridesmaids went to the hotel where Dr Masocha was booked to make his bed.
“Why would they go to make a bed for a married man travelling with his wife? “In any case the hotel staff would have made the bed anyway.
“But my friend, who belonged to the Church, argued that as a Man of God, the pastor, who he referred to as ‘Daddy’, had to have new linen put on his bed and it did not matter if one was a married woman or not, they had a duty to make the pastor’s bed.
“My worst shock was to see married women rushing to grab the towel used to wipe pastor Masocha’s sweat!
“They wiped themselves with the same dirty towel because they believed they would get blessings from God if they wiped themselves with the sweat of an anointed man.
“When he took off his shoes, they rushed to wear them!”
Perhaps they draw their actions from the Bible, which states that a woman was healed of haemorrhaging after she touched Jesus’ cloak.
“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed” and immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering (Mark 5 verses 21-43 and Matthew 9 verses 18-26).
I asked my colleague if his friend still believes in pastor Masocha after all these sexual offences allegations.
“No, he doesn’t go there anymore,” he said.
“I am glad, because my friend, despite all his education, had been brainwashed. “He didn’t mind his wife sitting on ‘Daddy’s lap.
“Now he left the Church, but goes to another Pentecostal Church!”
One of Dr Masocha’s alleged victims, Jean Gasho, has been writing on her blog how she had been abused sexually, financially and emotionally by Dr Masocha.
She wrote “The church members, especially women refer to Dr Masocha as ‘Daddy’.
“I struggled initially to call him ‘Daddy’ but he kept calling me his beloved daughter, and in the end I could not stop calling him ‘Daddy’ and I even saw him as a father figure in my life, more important than my own biological father.
“During those two years I watched the man I had trusted as my father slowly turn me against my husband and manipulate me in ways that were so cruel and almost inhuman.
“I used to confide in him and shared all my weaknesses with him, as he said I was supposed to tell him everything.
“He then started using the information I shared with him against me.”
Other people talk about how married women rushed to sit on Dr Masocha’s lap in the same way little girls would sit on their fathers’ laps.
But should we blame the pastors or the women/congregants?
In the UK, there are many Pentecostal churches in every corner where there is a sizeable black community.
In Coventry I have seen Pentecostal churches buy buildings that were once used as nurseries or pubs and converting them to churches.
Almost every African in the city belongs to one.
Many people are made to pay 10 percent of their hard earned cash as tithe. Some even sacrifice their savings and buy their pastors cars that they would never buy for themselves or their real parents.
Others, too, neglect their own parents in Zimbabwe and give all their savings to their new spiritual fathers in their quest for God’s glory.
One person I spoke to thinks that it is the pastors that are vulnerable and not the women.
“Don’t blame the pastors,” he said.
“How do you know that the women themselves did not ask for whatever happened beyond closed doors?
“There are some in churches, for example, in South Africa, where some pastors with some funny names, are known for putting their hands in women’s pants in order to pray for them.
“All funny stories.
“So, please let us not just blame the pastors.
“Personally if my wife goes to any of those churches where they play chiramu naPastor that is a good ground enough for a divorce.”
Another UK-based Zimbabwean commented, “My view is that it reflects the quality of women we have in the Zimbabwean community- for it is mostly women who go to these churches.
“Sisters, you need to check yourselves before you wreck yourselves!”
Bedworth-based Patricia Matahwa who goes to a Pentecostal Church, blames the governments for not doing enough to protect vulnerable people.
She believes that in the UK, people fall victim to these pastors because they go there looking for miracles to get immigration visas, to get prosperity (financial) while for many lonely women go to such churches for prayers to get husbands. “Nekunetsa kuri kuita kuwana varume muno muUK, single women will go for special prayers.
“The days we are living now are full of temptations.
“If a pastor tells you to go to his church promising you this or that, people will go.
“Nemaomero aita upenyu muno muUK, ekushaya mari, if you hear a pastor preaching about financial prosperity, sure you will go.
“In your Coventry there is a Zimbabwean pastor promising single women that if he prays for them, they will find husbands.
“When he goes to pray for them in their houses, he leaves his wife behind. “Some call him for prayer in the middle of the night.
“People need to choose their churches carefully.
“There is too much going on these days.
“I go to pastor Alex’s (Nigerian) church in London.
“He is a true man of God and I have seen him perform miracles.”
In one of her blog posts recently, Jean Gasho writes about how a single mother Cathy Chigwaza, of the Agape for All Nations Ministries, died recently after she self-discharged herself from hospital so that she would receive healing from the Church.
“A determined Cathy told the police that her ‘Daddy’ Walter Masocha had told her to leave hospital and come to church,” she wrote. 
“She said the god of Walter Masocha was healing her.”
I understand that the Agape for All Nations Ministries is now divided.
Some people have left the church while others are posting vitriol on Jean Gasho’s blog, who they blame for bringing the Church and their pastor into disrepute.


  1. Mr reporter this is yellow journalism, leave the judging to the reader at least try to report unbiased idiot.

  2. Don’t you realise some of these pastors and abusive men use witchcraft to confuse the women and girls. So don’t be so judgemental to make like these women are making rational decisions. Such biased “journalism” is one of the problems in Zimbabwean society so please look at yourself and family critically before you go and try take the specks out of another family’s eyes,


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