‘Union leaders too compromised to discuss PSMAS issues’

05 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
‘Union leaders too compromised to discuss PSMAS issues’

The Herald

Herald Reporter
LEADERS of the Public Service Association (PSA), Mrs Cecilia Alexandra and the Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Unions (ZCPSTU), Mr David Dzatsunga are too compromised to lead discussions on Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) as they are heavily implicated in chaos and maladministration bedevilling the organisation, insiders have said.

Mrs Alexandra is vice-chairperson of Premier Service Medical Investments, a subsidiary of PSMAS, while Mr Dzatsunga is a committee member on the PSMAS board.

The duo, together with the rest of the other board members stand accused of siphoning money from PSMAS and PSMI respectively through unconventional means and have reportedly colluded with other senior executives to create additional structures beyond the medical aid organisation’s board.

Premier Service Holding Company (PSHC), said the insiders, is an illegally constituted entity as evidenced by its absence from the PSMAS financials in the 2020 and 2021 annual report.

They added that the absence of its financials since its inception in 2019 is a clear indication that this entity was not properly constituted in accordance with the 2015 AGM resolution.

The PSHC is being used to divert members’ funds into other non-core medical activities such as the formation of Claydust — a mining company — and Premier Service Microfinance Company.

According to the deed of trust document, the power to appoint or remove the board of directors will rest with the Holding Company, a scenario which will render other governance structures useless.

“The company shall, in consultation with the Board of Trustees manage the affiliates for an agreed fee between it and the individual affiliates, exercise control of all affiliates including but not limited to, appointing and removing their boards of directors, receive dividend and/ or surplus as the case may be, from all affiliates, render such administrative services as are necessary for the smooth functioning of the Trust,” reads an extract from the deed document.

The deed of trust, as provided in the aborted AGM pack, also clearly spells out that the current board (the Bvirindi board), shall remain in office for a renewable period of three years from the date of registration of Deed of Trust. This obviously is the main reason why this current board is fighting viciously against Government scrutiny.

The Trust comprises of five members who are supposed to have been voted for by members during the cancelled AGM but oddly, no name nor profile of potential candidates were shared even to date.

The holding company will report to a

board, appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Holding Company will then appoint board members for the rest of the other entities namely: PSMAS, PSMI, PSMAS (Zambia), Premier Service Microfinance and Claydust.

Members will no longer have power to vote for board members as is the current set up.

Apart from posing governance risks, the introduction of this layer of governance is coming with costs to fund new boards to be appointed by the Holding Company, further straining members’ contributions.

PSMAS board chairman, Dr Bvirindi, PSMI board chairman Colonel Wellington Tutisa and her vice Mrs Alexandra, have further been accused of enjoying benefits way beyond those spelt out in best corporate governance practices.

According to the insiders at PSMI, Mrs Alexandra received a Mercedes Benz E300 (registration number provided).

This vehicle, the insiders elaborated, is being used by his son George Khowa who works in the properties and facilities department. The vehicle is serviced by PSMI, despite the fact that Mr Khowa receives monthly allowances at AA rates to cater for any service expenses he may incur for using his personal vehicle for work-related assignments.

Colonel Tutisa also got a Toyota Fortuner (registration number provided), while at PSMAS, Dr Bvirindi got a Toyota Hilux 2018 Revo Rocco (registration number provided).

The insiders claim that for these and other reasons, the outgoing board will continue defending the establishment of these additional structures.

“This is the reason why they are defending this structure because they know they are set to benefit personally. Their interests have nothing to do with the entire membership but individual greediness. They have been milking the society in board fees and allowances all along and in some instances claiming what is not due to them and they want to continue doing the same without anyone questioning them,” said the insiders.

Defending the board’s position to create other structures beyond PSMAS Board last week, Mrs Alexandra said PSMAS had “grown”.

“Government doesn’t want us to set up a Trust. As you can see, PSMAS has grown. It has properties, it has hospitals, it has a lot of things so it is not just like those other organisations,” said Mrs Alexandra.

Mr Dzatsunga concurred with Alexandra arguing that Government wanted to take over PSMAS, an allegation Government has since dismissed.

Instead, Government has challenged PSMAS to conduct a forensic audit to ascertain utilisation of funds disbursed so far.

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