“Pastor Flirted with 17-Year-Old Girl”
9 June 2024
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The United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) has suspended Chikanga Assembly pastor Reverend Liberty Maadza for six months without pay following allegations of inappropriate behavior with a 17-year-old girl from his congregation. According to reports, Maadza allegedly invited the girl to his house and suggested they go swimming together.

The suspension was confirmed in a letter dated May 15, 2024, authored by UCCZ president Reverend John Matiza. The suspension is effective from May 1, 2024, to October 31, 2024, the local MasvingoMirror paper reports.

The allegations came to light when Reverend Maadza reportedly saw a swimming status on the girl’s phone and sent her a WhatsApp message asking if she could swim, suggesting they go swimming one day. The girl responded, “What about your wife…you are supposed to take your wife there not me.”

Maadza is also said to have persistently asked the girl to come to his place. Chipinge Times has obtained the suspension letter, which states that Maadza has been asked to vacate the church house immediately and will not be allowed to perform any pastoral duties during his suspension.

Despite efforts to reach Reverend Maadza for comment, he has not responded. Reverend Matiza confirmed the case but refused to comment further, describing it as a spiritual matter. “This is not a case that we permit to be published in the newspaper. We dealt with the case in the spiritual life of the church and these cases are not taken to the press,” said Matiza.

Some church members have expressed dissatisfaction with the six-month suspension, deeming it too lenient compared to previous suspensions of up to two years for similar offenses under former president Ephraim Ngadziore.

The suspension letter, partially quoted, reads: “This letter serves to inform you that Rev Liberty Maadza has been suspended from his ministerial duties for a period of six months with effect from May 1, 2024, to October 31, 2024, without pay. He has been asked to vacate the church house with immediate effect and will not be allowed to perform any pastoral duties during the period of his suspension. Meanwhile, the North-Eastern Conference Superintendent Reverend Joshua Mapaure will be in charge of Chikanga church during the period of Rev Maadza’s suspension.”

Reverend Maadza has reportedly moved out of the church house but continues to attend services at Chikanga. The case highlights the serious repercussions for clergy involved in inappropriate conduct and the church’s efforts to handle such matters internally.