Paidamoyo Chipunza Health Reporter
Premier Service Medical Aid Society group chief executive Dr Cuthbert Dube and the society’s board chairperson Mrs Meisie Makeletso Namasasu have been booted out.The society has been in the news in recent days amid revelations the top management was gobbling at least US$1 million in basic monthly salaries at a time PSMAS was reeling from a US$38 million debt.
As at December 31, the society owed service providers US$38 million in unpaid bills for medical services rendered to its members.
In a statement released yesterday evening, PSMAS board secretary Mr Cosmos Mukwesha said the vice chairperson Mr Newton Mhlanga was appointed acting chairperson.
“At its sitting of the 27th day of January 2014, the Premier Service Medical Aid Society board of directors resolved to relieve the current board chairperson, Mrs M M Namasasu, of her duties as chairperson, forthwith. In line with the society’s constitution, the board appointed the vice chairperson, Mr N Mhlanga as acting chairperson until the appointment of a substantive chairperson.
“Further, the board resolved that in view of the fact that the group chief executive, Dr C.E Dube has reached retirement age, he be retired. Details on the retirement are being worked out,” reads part of the statement.
Sources close to the happenings at PSMAS House claim that the board was forced to take action after its members held an intense meeting with the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa yesterday.
It is believed that it was only after this meeting that the PSMAS board met and reversed its earlier decision to slash salaries of PSMAS executives.
In its last meeting held at PSMAS House last week, the board had resolved to slash Dr Dube’s salary from US$230 000 per month to about US$60 000- a figure that was still way above any other CEO of a Government parastatal.
Dr Dube has been at the helm of PSMAS since 1992 while Mrs Namasasu, a director for Implementation and Control of Expenditure Unit with the ministry of Finance had been on the board for the past 18 years.
Previously, Dr Dube was the general manager of the then Public Service Medical Aid Society. This latest development follows revelations of extravagant basic salaries of PSMAS 14 top executives amounting to about US$1 million a month- almost half of the organisation’s monthly wage bill.
As at December 2012, Dr Dube, who sits on 20 boards, was earning a monthly salary of US$230 000 a month while the group’s finance manager, Mr Enock Gwinyai (no longer with the PSMAS) earned a basic salary of US$200 000.
The group’s operations executive Mr Enock Chitekedza was earning US$122 000 while eight other senior directors were earning a basic salary of US$60 000 every month.
Three others, including Dr Dube’s personal assistant and a secretary were earning US$30 000, US$22 000 and US$15 000 00 each.
This brought the monthly wage bill of the top 14 to nearly US$1,1 million while about 300 others earned a combined US$900 000.
Meanwhile, people interviewed said the new board chairperson should ensure that the new CEO does not earn anything more than US$20 000 basic salary.
Mr Shadreck Maziwisa of Harare said considering the fact that this money is not a profit in whatsoever context,PSMAS CEO should thus be paid between U$10 000 and US$15 000.
“They have not worked for this money, if anything they are stealing from patients. This is money entrusted to them by members as medical savings,” said Mr Maziwisa.
“The idea of medical aid is such that members pool resources to meet medical bills of the few patients who get sick on a monthly basis and medical aid societies are the administrators of such funds. Of course administrators have a salary but it should not be anything out of this world and they should also be fulfilling their obligations,” he said.
As at December 31, PSMAS owed service providers nearly US$38 million but argued that it was also owed US$44 million in unremitted contributions.