HomeHeadlinesPsmas fight to spill into courts

Psmas fight to spill into courts

SYDNEY KAWADZA
CIVIL servants grouping, Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) is plotting to drag the government to court for blocking the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) annual general meeting (AGM), which was slated for yesterday.

Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas)

Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the government workers and Psmas members were planning a demonstration against a pending state takeover, which reportedly triggered the postponement of the AGM. Psmas has not held an AGM since 2020 with members earlier this week expressing hope that the meeting would have put paid issues that haunted the company following the removal of former chief executive Cuthbert Dube in 2014.

However, the government reportedly blocked the meeting with police cordoning off the venue. Members of the ZCPSTU later addressed a press conference at the Public Service Association (PSA) House.

According to sources, the police trailed the representatives at the PSA House leading to the arrest of one of their members.

The latest development comes amid reports that the Finance and Economic Development ministry was reluctant to release funds to Psmas as was directed by Vice-President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga during a recent media briefing. The Psmas AGM was aimed at resolving trust issues pertaining to management of its sister company, Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI).

However, Health and Child Care permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza on Tuesday wrote to Psmas board chairperson Jeremiah Bvirindi ordering the postponement of the AGM. Bvirindi, however, wrote to Chimedza advising that members had already travelled to Harare for the meeting.

Health and Child Care permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza

In a letter, in our possession, he indicated that he only received Chimedza’s order late.

“In view of the inherent logistical challenges, the AGM shall be formally postponed at the meeting venue tomorrow, namely June 30, 2022,” he said.

On Wednesday, Public Service Commission chairperson Jonathan Wutawunashe issued a statement blocking all civil servants, who are members of the Psmas from attending the meeting.

“The regulator has advised that the Psmas AGM that was scheduled for 30 of June 2022 has been cancelled on his orders in order to allow the forensic audit that has commenced to be completed.

“Civil servants who are members of Psmas and were planning to attend the AGM should, therefore, not travel for purposes of attending the AGM but instead report for duty at their workstations as usual,” Wutawunashe said.

Sources who spoke to the Independent yesterday accused authorities of blocking the AGM in their bid to take over the Psmas.

“In fact, the regulator blocked the AGM quoting the wrong regulatory instrument and it was erroneous, it was not the correct piece of law,” the source said.

“The Psmas chairperson indicated that they could only postpone the AGM at the venue because the regulator gave him a short notice while members had already travelled. The regulator did not say anything then but when we got to the venue this morning we found a heavy police presence and members were being chased away saying the AGM had been cancelled” he added.

The source said the unions met and decided to approach the courts although they were waiting for their legal advisors on a way forward.

“The unions have resolved to pressure the government through some activism and we could be going on to the streets demonstrating against the pending takeover of Psmas,” the source said.

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