Squabbles stalk Psmas


CONTROVERSY continues to stalk the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) as nasty boardroom squabbles are now embroiling the organisation.

Two factions, comprising members seconded to the Psmas board by government on the one hand and those from civil servants unions on the other, are now accusing each other of clandestinely holding caucuses and meetings without the knowledge of the other.

Those seconded from government are Public Service Commissioner Tendai Choruma, Deputy Chief Secretary Martin Rushwaya and chief director in the Finance ministry Pfungwa Kunaka.

The squabbles are reportedly so bad that riot police had to be summoned last week to stop the annual general meeting (AGM) at a hotel in Harare.

Board members from government workers unions are accusing government representatives of using bullying tactics to force government proposals on them.

“They came up with government proposals and tried to impose them on the board and we refused. They used their bullying tactics because they occupy high offices in government. They even sent riot police to stop our AGM last week,” Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Union (formerly Apex Council) secretary David Dzatsunga, who is one of the board members, told NewsDay.

At a Press conference yesterday, board members seconded by government accused those from the labour movements of sidelining them.

“Recent actions taken by other members of the board have brought matters to a head for us, as those actions compromise the focus of the board on substantive matters relating to the task of overseeing the correction of developments that compromise access to healthcare by Psmas members,” Choruma said.

“Among these disturbing actions is the holding of caucuses to which some selected members of the board are invited to the exclusion of others, pointedly members appointed to the board by government. Invariably, there is no clarity as to what the agenda of such caucuses are. That is not the way boards are supposed to function, and certainly not the way good governance principles are supposed to be applied.”

The Regulator of Medical Aid Societies has launched a forensic audit into Psmas following reports of looting and meddling by government officials at the organisation. There are allegations that government wants to take over Psmas.

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