HomeLocal NewsPsmas, Labour minister headed for showdown

Psmas, Labour minister headed for showdown

A SHOWDOWN is looming between Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira and the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) board, with Mupfumira accusing the board of sitting on the findings of an Ernst and Young audit report, and hypocrisy.

Kudzai Kuwaza

A forensic audit draft report on the utilisation of Psmas funds dated February 20 2015, reveals that 11 Psmas executives, including former CEO Cuthbert Dube, splurged US$22,8 million in “executive allowances” outside the payroll and evaded tax, resulting in the company coughing up US$9 million to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

In all, Psmas executives received US$86,9 million in salaries, bonuses and allowances between 2009 and 2013 at a time the company owed creditors US$119 million and was struggling to pay its workers. Dube, his driver, two secretaries, and 11 executives shared US$22 888 281,28 outside the payroll between 2012 and 2013.

The executives also shared US$24 million in allowances and US$7 million in bonuses through the payroll. Psmas purchased vehicles worth US$6 709 973. Its board members were paid extortionate fees.
In an interview yesterday, Mupfumira queried why the board has not brought senior executives — who are fingered in the report — to book.

“The audit report was done in February. Why has the board not implemented the report’s recommendations? Why has there been no disciplinary action or dockets opened to deal with the executives implicated in the report.”

She scoffed at accusations she was interfering in the operations of Psmas by reinstating the medical aid society’s MD Henry Mandishona, suspended by the board on September 4 this year. The board has since reversed the directive issued by Mupfumira by suspending Mandishona again.

“As government we are a major shareholder with more than 80% of our members being Psmas members,” Mupfumira said. “The board is now complaining of interference from government. Why did they not complain when government used a statutory instrument to save their assets from being sold to pay the debts they owe health institutions? They only want government involvement when it suits them.”

Mupfumira said she was not defending Mandishona, but wanted a comprehensive report on the goings-on at the medical aid society.

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