Medical aid society owes Zimpapers $20 million


Staff Writer

ROYAL Medical Aid Society (RMAS) is having difficulty servicing its six-month old $20 million debt with the state-controlled Zimpapers, it emerged this week.



ace=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Zimpapers is planning to engage the services of debt collectors in a bid to recover the money, the Zimbabwe Independent has been informed.

Sources close to Zimpapers said efforts to negotiate with the medical aid society were not working.


The debt stems in part from the RMAS’s soccer adverts for the Zimbabwe Warriors’ participation in the Africa cup of nations tournament held in Tunisia in January and for the 2003 footballer of the year competition. The Sunday Mail carried the adverts from early October to December last year.

A source said Zimpapers was considering hiring debt collectors to recover their money.


Documents in the Independent’s possession show that RMAS owes Zimpapers $20 587 582. The medical aid society’s last payment to the newspaper group was $1 834 148 in mid-October last year.


A Zimpapers source said the group stopped carrying adverts for the medical aid society in December when it failed to pay.


“We stopped advertising for RMAS in December when they defaulted on their payments, some of which have been outstanding since October last year,” the source said.


RMAS chief executive Innocent Gumbura refused to discuss the debt with the Independent.


“Are you sure you can ask me that?” he retorted. “I am sorry I cannot talk to you about what you are asking.”


The Independent spoke to the newspaper group’s finance manager, Munyaradzi Ndoro, who confirmed the RMAS debt, but refused to give details.


“We could have given you the information, but we signed a contract of confidentiality with them (RMAS), so our hands are tied,” he said.