THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has called for a probe into Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and other medical aid societies in the country amid indications that there is rampant abuse of public funds.
In a statement, CCZ executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said the consumer watchdog was in shock and disturbed with the news of the salaries for top management at PSMAS.
She said considering the general economic situation that the country was facing and the continuous problems the ordinary consumer who is a member of PSMAS has had in accessing good service, the salaries were shocking and a slap in the face of PSMAS members.
“As the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe on behalf of the many consumers who are PSMAS members, we want to see a thorough investigation on this issue, including other medical aid societies so that consumers are vindicated in what they have been saying for many years that they are receiving shoddy services from some medical aid societies,” Siyachitema said.
The calls for the probe follow revelations by the media that former PSMAS chief executive officer Cuthert Dube earned $230 000 monthly.
Siyachitema said if the salary amounts were found to be true, it meant that the members had been contributing every month to fill the pockets of top management rather than be given good service when they needed it.
“Considering what the public has heard about salaries in PSMAS, ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation) and local authorities, it seems that this is just the tip of the iceberg. On behalf of all struggling consumers, investigations cannot just be made on a piecemeal basis, there is need for a group made of principled people to investigate all these issues,” she said.
She, however, said it was unacceptable for consumers to suffer at the hands of collapsing banks due to greedy service providers and let this be business as usual.
“As CCZ, we are horrified and shocked that consumers’ rights have been trampled on in this way and the little money that the ordinary person is earning is going towards such corrupt officers. We feel that the consumer is being robbed and this is a criminal act — and rather than retiring people and giving them golden handshakes and giving them extra allowances, these people need to be investigated.”