via Graft probe for new PSMAS boss | The Herald September 5, 2015 by Paidamoyo Chipunza
Premier Service Medical Aid Society managing director Mr Henry Mandishona has been sent on forced leave pending investigations into various misdemeanors, which include suspected mismanagement, only four months after he was appointed.
PSMAS has a well-documented history of abuse of resources which came to light after former group chief executive Dr Cuthbert Dube was booted out for earning over $500 000 per month in both salary and allowances.
Dr Dube’s management also earned obscene salaries and allowances which ran into millions of dollars when combined, at a time when the medical aid society was failing to pay debts to service providers. According to an internal memo circulated by the new board of directors to all staff yesterday and seen by The Herald, the suspension of Mr Mandishona was meant to pave way for investigations in relation to the way he conducted business in his office.
“On behalf of PSMAS board of directors, I write to advise you that the managing director, Henry Mandishona, has been sent on forced leave with immediate effect, pending investigations which the board wants to conduct in relation to his office,” the medical aid society’s company secretary Mr Cosmas Mukwesha said in the memo.
“You will be advised of further developments on this matter in due course. In the meanwhile, the board is appealing to all of us to remain focused on our core business namely: to diligently save the generality of our membership.” Mr Mandishona was appointed as the PSMAS managing director on May 1 this year after members of the society agreed to abolish the post of group chief executive previously held by Dr Dube.
The society’s new board chairperson Mr Jeremiah Bvirindi yesterday confirmed Mr Mandishona’s suspension.He said Mr Mandishona had been withholding a lot of information handed over to him by the interim management led by Government representative Dr Gibson Mhlanga. “We felt that we were being starved of information we wanted as a board to bring back normalcy at PSMAS and this latest development will enable us get that information,” he said.
“If the coast is clear he will come back to work.” Contacted for comment, Mr Mandishona refused to shed light on his suspension only saying: “It is well”. Sources close to developments said the board felt that Mr Mandishona was withholding information in order to conceal some of the alleged abuse of office carried out under his watch.
They also said his suspension was triggered by internal struggle to control the society’s newly formed holding company, whose formation was endorsed by members at the last annual general meeting held in June. The holding company, which is yet to be named, was created through a trust meant to oversee operations of PSMAS and its investment arm, the Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI).
Problems at PSMAS started when the obscene salary structure for Dr Dube was exposed. His top executives were also earning mega salaries averaging $60 000 a month, excluding benefits. Despite these huge salaries and benefits, PSMAS failed to pay up service providers, resulting in its members failing to access healthcare.
Following the exposé on the salaries, Dr Dube and the society’s board chairman Mrs Meisie Makelotso Namasasu were forced to step down. Subsequently, the whole board of directors resigned, leaving Government with no option, but to appoint an interim management to bring back normalcy at the society.
In terms of the law, the interim management was to oversee PSMAS operations for a period not exceeding 12 months. The interim management’s tenure expired at midnight on June 12 this year, paving way for Mr Mandishona as well as the new board of directors to be appointed in line with the society’s amended constitution.