Masarira calls for urgent revival of PSMAS

Chris Mahove

LEAD President, Linda Masarira has called for an urgent revitalization of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) saying its existence in the present state was a threat to members’ right to health care.

In a statement, Masarira said there was need for government to immediately stop the rampant abuse of representative power by some trade unionists who she said were plundering PSMAS resources.

“Government should seriously consider prioritizing the revival of PSMAS as soon as yesterday as civil servants right to healthcare as enshrined in section 76 of the constitution is continuously violated as they fail to access healthcare. In the spirit of leaving no one behind, access to healthcare should be prioritized for every Zimbabwean,” Masarira said.

She said the PSMAS was currently failing to clear its arrears to third parties and PSMI was drowning in huge debt.

“It’s going concern status is threatened by this opulent and reckless squandering and embezzlement of public funds, yet efforts to revive and rescue PSMAS by Government are thwarted by soiled beneficiaries of the same flawed system in the name of trade unionism. This rampant abuse of representative power by unionists with little business experience and exposure in a multi-million dollar business threatens the existence of the Society,” she said, in apparent reference to APEX chairperson, Cecilia Alexander.

Masarira said attempts by the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (ZCPSTU) to stop the government from intervening in the PSMAS matter were aimed at protecting Alexander, a Vice President of the union and vice board chair of the PSMAS and David Dzatsunga, the union president and PSMAS committee member.

She claimed the two were benefiting from the corruption at PSMAS. 

“It is noteworthy that the president of ZCPSTU, Cecilia Alexander and its vice president David Dzatsunga are current sitting board members of PSMI (vice board chair) and PSMAS (committee member) respectively thus conflicted in this very matter.

“It is even very disturbing to note that Cecilia Alexander a former member of the dissolved NSSA board has been getting benefits way beyond those stipulated in the Companies Act as a board member enjoying the luxury of a Mercedes Benz E300 registration number ADI-4658 fuelled and serviced at Zimoco by PSMI using public funds,” she claimed.

Masarira further claimed that the two continued to make executive decisions at PSMAS despite the fact that the tenure of their board lapsed in May 2021, adding they were attempting to establish a board of trustees in a board in which ‘they have ripped off Government adequate representation and voting powers’.

 Masarira said the PSMAS and PSMI being a multimillion dollar business, had not been spared from corruption, which was threatening their existence.

“These white collar crimes by PSMAS management of the entities and some of its board members has led to the formation of the Premier Service Holding Company (PSHC) through a 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) resolution which was fast tracked by the corrupt beneficiaries without the requisite terms of reference and guidance from the same AGM on operational funding and organisational structure,” she said.

She said the PSMI and PSHC had been abused as vehicles of looting by the corrupt leadership which had renegaded from the core vision of the organisation of providing access to healthcare while running   their own peripheral vision engaging in gold buying and selling, microfinance and expansion beyond the country’s borders into Zambia.

“This has adversely affected the Government employee as funds have been abused and diverted away from healthcare with employees being charged a US dollar based shortfall to access service at PSMI units and chronic patients failing to access their medicines for various chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes and those on dialysis missing sessions due to stock outs,”.

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society has been proposed for the 30th June 2022 where an array of proposed interventions meant to arrest the decay at PSMAS are set to be tabled for discussion.

Alexander could not be immediately reached for comment as she was said to be attending the ILO International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

A special unit on anti-corruption is said to be investigating the alleged rampant abuse of funds at the institution, in which government holds a majority shareholding.

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