PSMAS board left to fight for another day

Source: PSMAS board left to fight for another day – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 28, 2017

THE Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) board yesterday survived an ouster bid at the society’s annual general meeting (AGM) on a technicality, after the issue failed to make it on the agenda because it is before the courts.


PSMAS acting company secretary, James Muzangaza said the item on dissolution of the board could no longer be slotted in under “any other business (AOB)”, because it was currently before the courts.

“There was a request to have an item added to the agenda as AOB,” he said.

“The item was not accepted in line with the Constitution. The applicants went to the High Court seeking an order to compel PSMAS to add the item on the agenda. The High Court will hear the matter on Friday.”

Muzangaza said the meeting would have to be adjourned and a decision on whether to convene another AGM would be made depending on the court ruling.

Two PSMAS members approached the High Court seeking an order to compel the society to include on the agenda a proposal for the dissolution of the current board at yesterday’s AGM.

Maphios Siamuchembo and Eden Frank Mtambalika accused the board of prioritising a luxurious life in the face of deteriorating service delivery and mismanagement of the society funds.

The Jeremiah Bvirindi-led PSMAS board has also been accused of splurging nearly $400 000 on luxury vehicles for its three top executives at a time the society allegedly owes service providers more than $200 million in unsettled claims.

Members at the meeting raised several reservations on the allowances for directors, which run into over half a million dollars per year, with every one of the 11 directors walking away with a total of $50 000 per year.

Other members complained over the increase in monthly contributions at a time services were deteriorating.

“We are charged shortfalls even at Westend Hospital, which is owned by PSMAS,” one member complained.

In his presentation, Bvirindi detailed the work the board had done over the year aimed at reducing the PSMAS debt and restructuring the organisation, which included introducing the Premier Lifestyle wellness programme and creating new low-cost products to allow greater availability of medical aid across the society.

The board chairman said the biggest challenge facing PSMAS was the non-remittance of subscriptions by key member organisations, saying the society had to make do with about 25% of its income against a full usage rate with members utilising non-existent funds.

He called on members to engage their employers to ensure that there was an improvement in the payment of subscriptions which would result in the improvement of service.