While the unexpected turn of events in investigations of the killing of Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) Pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi’s wife in Mochudi has left the nation reeling in shock and disbelief, the church has vowed to stand by one of its own and pledged to support him morally and spiritually throughout his impending murder case. Pastor Mogomotsi, who initially claimed ignorance of his wife’s assailants, is now the prime suspect in the case and is in police custody pending his bail hearing before Mochudi magistrate court next week Thursday. Recent media report alleges that Mogomotsi is suspected to have worked jointly with four other suspects who brutalised his wife in December last year. After sustaining serious injuries from the assault, Mogomotsi’s wife later passed on after a brief hospitalisation. A visit to Mochudi where the murder took place, members of the community expressed disbelief and displeasure at the alleged involvement of the Pastor in his wife’s killing. While most declined to speak citing intimidation from law enforcement agencies, some could not hold back their desire to make their displeasure known. A 70-year-old grandmother, who declined to give her name, expressed her displeasure lengthily. In her view, if it is indeed true that the Pastor was involved in his wife’s killing, it would be unfortunate especially that he is a man of God. “If at all there was some love lost between them, the pastor should have known better and filed for a divorce instead of killing her,” she charged. She was also of the opinion that since the church is one institution that promotes marriage, the pastor’s actions were likely to demotivate and bring doubt to the community on whether marriage was really an ideal route after all. “We will now start doubting men’s intentions whenever they express their interests to marry our daughters,” she said.
Also speaking on condition of anonymity, a young man in his mid-twenties said he was shocked by the allegations levelled against the pastor. As a church goer, he was worried that the incident may lead to a loss of interest and faith in churches and religion among young people. “I see young people losing faith in churches especially these modern ones,” he said. Meanwhile one resident was of the view that the law should take its cause and set example of the pastor if indeed the allegations leveled against him were true. This, according to him, is the only way to restore the community‘s faith in the church. AFM Botswana Mochudi branch officials declined to comment on the matter. Nonetheless the church released a statement on Thursday pledging ‘pastoral responsibility’ to Mogomotsi and his family. “The church has a pastoral responsibility to our Pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi, the families, the Mochudi Assembly and The Apostolic Faith Mission in Botswana. Hence the Leadership of the Church will continue visiting the families to give them the Church’s moral support,” the statement signed by the church President Pastor Jobe Koosimile read. Explaining further Pastor Koosimile stated that pastoral responsibility means that the church is obligated to take care of Pastor Mogomotsi both spiritually and morally. “This will see us being with him and his family throughout, giving him support and counseling,” said Koosimile. He explained that as the church they too were in the dark and will not be quick to judge Pastor Mogomotsi prior to the court’s judgment; hence as their pastor Mogomotsi should not in any case feel they have abandoned him. Koosimile, however, explained that their support however does not include financial expenses; hence Mogomotsi and his family will take care of his legal fees. In the statement, Koosimile states that The Apostolic Faith Mission in Botswana was on the 28th of March 2017 informed of an incident whereby Pastor Mooketsi Mogomotsi of Mochudi Assembly was attacked by unknown assailants who caused injuries to him after which he was hospitalised from the 28th March 2017 to 3rd April 2017. According to Koosimile, they were also informed reliably by the authorities that following Pastor Mogomotsi’s release from the hospital on the 3rd of April he was now helping the Police with investigations relating to the demise of his wife and has subsequently appeared before Mochudi Magistrate Court and was charged with murder on April 5, 2017. The Apostolic Faith Mission wishes to inform its members and the public at large that, as a law abiding church we would like to allow the authorities to do their work with no impediment,” he said in the communiqué.