Source: PSMAS board faces revolt | The Herald June 15, 2017
Felex Share Senior Reporter—
Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) members have given management notice of a motion to dissolve the health insurer’s board at the next annual general meeting slated for June 27. The notice comes in the wake of revelations that the medical aid society’s senior management were purchasing luxurious cars and pampering themselves with perks at the expense of service delivery.
PSMAS recently splurged nearly $400 000 on luxury vehicles for its three top executives at a time it owes service providers more than $200 million in unsettled claims.
The PSMAS board is led by Mr Jeremiah Bvirindi.
The development also comes after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) this week said they were investigating the current board after receiving complaints from disgruntled mem- bers.
PSMAS members gave the notice to the management through a letter written by their lawyers, Puwayi Chiutsi Legal Practitioners.
“We have been engaged by a grouping of your members who have instructed us to formally given notice of ‘any other business’ under Item 3 of the agenda of the society’s 2017 annual general meeting as it appears in The Sunday Mail of the 4th day of June 2017,” reads the letter addressed to PSMAS managing director Engineer Tendai Kapumha.
“Our clients, your members, give notice of the following business; to consider the dissolution of the current board on account of having presided over the deteriorating service delivery and mismanagement of the society funds as evidenced by the prioritisation of luxurious vehicles for management over service delivery and in the place of the dissolved board, to re-appoint Dr Gibson Mhlanga, the former interim manager, or, if he declines, to appoint somebody else of good standing for a period of 12 months, during which period the appointee shall make arrangements for the appointment and/or election of a new board as provided for in the society’s constitution as read with appropriate legislation. We look forward to receiving acknowledgement from your office that our clients’ proposed motion will be on the society’s June 27 annual general meeting agenda.”
Dr Mhlanga, a principal director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, led PSMAS in 2014 on an interim basis following exposure of gross abuse of members’ contributions by the Dr Cuthbert Dube-led board.
Dr Mhlanga’s team is credited with having introduced a raft of measurers aimed at reviving the health insurer.
Sources accuse the new board led by Mr Bvirindi of looting PSMAS at a time members are parting with a lot of money to access health care services.
Mr Bvirindi on Monday acknowledged receiving the notice from the members saying it was “the work of people from within, fighting management”.
He said those who received the vehicles did so as part of their con- tracts.
“I saw the letter but it is people from within working with those fired and suspended members,” Mr Bvirindi said.
“There are managers, three of them who received cars as part of their conditions of service. We can’t breach contracts which are in place, it’s not fair. We approved that as a board. The managing director actually did not get a new vehicle but benefited from a fleet of the nine vehicles which were bought by Dr Dube which we inherited.
“We sold six of them and we failed to find a market for the other three and that is where the managing director benefited from. Three of the directors who got new vehicles are those leading the human resources, finance and information technology departments.”
He went on: “There are other people who are not happy with the measures being implemented especially the cutting of salaries. Some people used to get vehicles yet their grades did not deserve that and we did away with that.”
The top executives, some who joined PSMAS last year were expected to turnaround the fortunes of the company which has been embroiled in a salary scandal involving Dr Dube, who was earning $236 000 per month.
ZACC chairperson in charge of investigations Mr Goodson Nguni on Monday said: “Our duty is to investigate without segregating and I can confirm we are actually investigating the new PSMAS board because we have received complaints.”
PSMAS boasts of about 800 000 members, mostly civil servants.