'Prophet' of church linked to gruesome child murder groped schoolgirl to 'remove demons'

Farai Chirashi stabbed her five-year-old son Scott to death and ripped out his heart - she had attended preacher Walter Masocha’s cult-like church

Mirror, Uk/April 28, 2015

By Chris Clements

A self-styled prophet whose church was linked to a horrific child killing groped a schoolgirl - telling her that he was trying to remove demons.

Farai Chirashi, who killed her own son Scott, five, and ripped out his heart, had attended perv preacher Walter Masocha’s cult-like church.

Yesterday, Masocha, 51, was found guilty of groping the 14-year-old child.

The twisted churchman was also found guilty of molesting a 32-year-old deaconess, claiming he was healing her of a stomach ache.

Masocha enjoyed God-like status in his money-spinning church Agape, reports the Daily Record.

But it was touched by scandal when mentally ill Chirashi killed Scott.

Scott was stabbed to death and had his heart ripped out by his mother.

She had descended into mental illness after breaking away from Agape and her husband Tichakunda Chiriseri, who remained devoted to the church.

And yesterday, as Masocha, 51, was convicted of the sex attacks, insiders revealed the shocking truth behind the cult-like operation.

Zimbabwean-born Masocha founded the Agape for All Nations International Ministries, which has brought in more than £3.3million of donations from its followers in the last four years.

It held bizarre ceremonies where former Stirling University lecturer Masocha walks across the jackets thrown down by his devout followers.

Masocha also encouraged the women of his congregation to call him “daddy” and it is claimed he performed "exorcisms" in his back garden.

After a six-day trial, a jury of seven men and seven women at Falkirk Sheriff Court took less than 30 minutes to find Masocha guilty of sexually assaulting the deaconess and sexually touching the underage girl.

The verdicts were by majority.

The court heard he kissed and caressed the schoolgirl and “pinged” her underwear at his seven-bedroom home, Cosy Neuk, in Sauchieburn, near Stirling.

He groped the deaconess, a married mother-of-four, who was told by her husband that the “prophet” had been trying to remove something from her genitals.

The offences took place between January 2012 and January 2014.

But Masocha was earlier found not guilty of two other charges, alleging that he engaged in sexual activity with another girl, then 13, by inducing her to massage his half-naked body with oils.

He was cleared after she retracted her claims.

Allegations that he had acted in a similar way on various occasions towards her then 16-year-old sister had been dropped before the trial began.

The court heard during evidence that the 13-year-old girl and her family have since rejoined the sect.

Masocha, in a handmade suit with velvet collar, stood completely expressionless in the dock as the verdicts were announced.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan ordered that Masocha’s name should be entered on the sex offenders’ register and deferred sentence.

He continued bail, until May 19 for reports, which will include an assessment of the risk Masocha poses to other women and girls.

In court, Masocha’s adult victim wept as she told how “Archbishop” Masocha groped her private parts under the guise of praying for “every part of your body”.

She said: “It was like he was feeling me. I was so shocked.

“At that time I saw him as somebody who could never do any wrong, because that was what he used to teach us.

“My husband told me, ‘The prophet is seeing something in your genitals that needs to be removed, so he was removing that.’

“Outside, I had to believe that, but inside I didn’t.”

The court also heard of Masocha’s claims to the woman that God had told him that “he was the one with the keys to her destiny”.

And she described how she had to undergo an all-night “deliverance” after her husband told her she had to be freed from demons.

She also told how she left the church when her family and fellow members called medics and tried to have her sectioned during one service.

Paramedics agreed the effort had simply been a “public humiliation”.

Speaking to the Record, the woman claimed she had had a number of other uncomfortable encounters with Masocha.

And she portrayed him as a manipulative egomaniac fleecing his followers with promises of a better life, while running his organisation from the comfort of £500,000 Cosyneuk.

She said Masocha – who she and other women followers called “my Dad” – claimed to have heard the “audible voice of God” and to have spoken with the Lord on Mount Sinai, Egypt.

“His whole system is evil,” she said.

“Masocha appears absolutely charming. If you were to meet him, you would think, ‘Oh my goodness, there is nothing wrong with this man.’

“He is very likeable and is a sweet talker.

"He is a charismatic speaker and thinks well of himself – typical of any cult leader who controls the crowds.

Masocha – a former accountancy lecturer – set up the controversial church in 2007.

Before then, he had already fallen foul of his neighbours in Sauchieburn, who alleged he had carried out an exorcism in garden. The church has denied the claim.

Agape are a registered charity, describing their purpose as the “advancement of religion”.

Since 2011, the church have brought in an income of £3,300,720 – most of it raised through donations from his flock.

Over the same period, they spent £2,921,713, the bulk of which goes towards “charitable activities”.

In 2014, more than £34,000 of their spending covered “governance costs”.

Masocha has so-called satellite ministries in France, Ireland, Canada and the US, as well as Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and his native Zimbabwe.

In the UK, dozens of these branches exist, including satellites in Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

There are believed to be around 1000 members of the church in the UK alone, most of them hailing from Zimbabwe.

Videos online show the colourful ceremonies tied to his preaching.

In one scene, Masocha is shown walking across coats thrown down by his followers – an allusion to Palm Sunday.

In another, he is seen preaching a sermon about pigs being possessed by demons.

Such is Masocha’s notoriety, his arrest and trial has already been reported by news outlets in his African homeland.

His 32-year-old victim – also from Zimbabwe – says the shamed preacher lures immigrant followers who have no support network on entering the UK.

She explained: “The people who go to this church are already vulnerable adults.

“They are immigrants who have come into this country and find it very hard.

“They struggle with the way they are viewed by society, to get jobs and often have problems with their immigration papers.

“You will find that the people who go to Agape have issues already. They are seeking something more.

“So they look up to this self-proclaimed prophet who is saying to you, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be okay. You’re going to get your papers.’

“He tells them, ‘You’re going to be rich.’”

Agape have been attacked by a number of bloggers who were once part of the church, with claims of financial mismanagement and abuse levelled at the church leader.

The former deaconess continued: “When I came out the church, my eyes were open. It is a cult and he is brainwashing people.

“You couldn’t have friends outside the church. You couldn’t even go to other churches and hear what other ministers are saying.

“You give everything to him. We used to take our wages and literally hand them over to him.

“It got to the point where mortgages aren’t being paid because he tells you that the more you give to the Prophet, the more God will bless you.

“Yes, it sounds stupid … but the level of brainwashing on adults is unbelievable.”

A spokesman for Agape, now run by a board of trustees, said: “Dr Masocha’s engagement as an employee of Agape for All Nations Ministries International has been suspended.

“Agape sincerely apologises for any harm done to those affected.”

The spokesman also insisted: “Agape FANMI is not a cult. It does not fulfil the warning signs of a cult.”

"But he simply preys on the vulnerable.”

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