PARLIAMENT yesterday recommended that the Cuthbert Dube-led executive and board members of the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) be expelled and charged for misappropriation of members’ funds.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Addressing a Press conference at Parliament Building, Ruth Labode, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, said a forensic audit should be monthly salary from the heavily indebted institution.
Labode said the matter should not be treated lightly as “poor people’s funds meant for health were being embezzled for personal gains”.
She said the probe should also dig into Dube’s dealings at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) where he was also a board member.
The committee took a swipe at Health minister David Parirenyatwa for only announcing in Senate last week that the matter was going to be investigated instead of taking serious action like firing the whole board.
“The committee notes that the decision of the PSMAS board to retire the CEO with possible benefits is not in the interest of the public and recommends that he must be prosecuted for theft and/or misappropriation of members’ funds,” said Labode.
“The committee notes with concern other linkages and recurrence of similar names like Dube and Mavis Gumbo in PSMAS, ZBC and Zifa, all being troubled institutions with reported gross abuse of public funds by management and also notes the outgoing chair of the PSMAS board Meisie Namasasu is a government employee with the Ministry of Finance and how she presided over such immoral salary scales leaves a lot to be desired and Namasasu should be investigated and the job with the State reviewed, if not recalled,” she said.
“In light of these anomalies, the committee calls on government to order a forensic audit into PSMAS’ funds-handling, given its public service interest and the numerous donations to entities like Zifa which Dube made.”
The committee also recommended that the future PSMAS board should include a representative from civil servants.
Labode said prosecution was imperative in line with provisions of the Constitution which outlawed lavish salaries at the expense of delivery and at a time when PSMAS owed $38 million in fees to doctors and other service providers.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also told the National Assembly during debate on the 2014 National Budget that there was need for a complete overhaul of parastatals. He said PSMAS was not a government institution, adding that civil servants needed to be moved to other medical aid institutions.