‘Ignore these satanic verses’ — Dube

FORMER Premier Medical Aid Society (Psmas) CEO Cuthbert Dube says allegations of abuse of public funds at the society and illegal approval of suspended ZBC boss Happison Muchechetere’s exorbitant salary are political machinations meant to smear his reputation.

Kudzai Kuwaza

As a result of allegations of corruption, the society retired Dube who was earning salaries and allowances amounting to more than US$6 million a year and fired board chairperson Meisie Makeletso Namasasu.

The society owed US$38 million to various healthcare providers. In a letter to staff at Psmas dated December 20 last year after news of his hefty salary filtered through the market, Dube strongly denied the allegations levelled against him.

“With regard to the recent negative publicity against me and the group, particularly the society, I kindly ask you to ignore these satanic verses” Dube said.

“It is just a passing phase and you need to be resolute bearing in mind there is politics, malice, pathological lies and a whole lot of jealousy involved in all this smear campaign.”

He said the group had done very well under what he described as “very difficult and prohibitive operating conditions”, assuring staff the group will survive the economic hardships.

Dube, who made biblical references in his missive, said Psmas was innocent and had in fact assisted their members and patients.

“I also want to remind you that evil has no power over righteousness. God is above the devil called Satan. I have not wronged anybody and our group has not wronged anybody,” Dube said. “Instead, all we have done is to assist our members and patients. Therefore, we all need to be courageous as the current environment is not for the faint-hearted.”

He vowed that he would not abandon the society “at this critical time of need,” adding he would stand by them through thick and thin and will be “conquerors at the end of all this turbulence”
Dube, writing a day after Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the 2014 national budget, said the US$100 million allocated as the government employer contribution for the society for 2014, “was beyond what most of us had expected given the financial constraints facing government and the whole national economy.”

He added the “negative and unfounded” attacks on the society and himself had increased their fear that they would get a satisfactory budget.

Dube said they had got more than most ministries attributing it to “our usual behind the scenes strategies”.

He however did not reveal what these strategies were before he was removed.

Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Dube confirmed he had authored the letter before he was removed.