Top Menu




ED’s anti-graft unit probes PSMAS

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special unit on anti-corruption is investigating alleged rampant abuse of funds at the government-owned Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) amid claims that top executives bought luxury cars at a time the health insurer was struggling to provide basic services.

According to insiders, a whistleblower submitted detailed information to the unit led by Tabani Mpofu on how executives were allegedly siphoning money out of Premier Service Medical Investments, a subsidiary of PSMAS.

Mpofu yesterday confirmed the investigation, but said he was not in a position to provide further details as he was out of town.

However, the “dossier” seen by this publication shows how the top managers including PSMI CEO Farai Muchena were allegedly looting from the insurer that mainly services civil servants.

Board members are also accused of abetting the alleged corruption by involving themselves in the day-to-day running of the insurer.

“The PSMI system is shamefully entrenched in corruption,” reads part of the report before the investigators.

“We are not in the transport industry, but surely this is pathetic to have a huge fleet of 250 cars for a company yet pharmacies are empty, no chemicals, it is just pathetic.

“In 2017 the company decided to buy brand new cars from suppliers (and the) selection of suppliers was not advertised, but cars were purchased.

“When the cars came, there was no clear allocation. Instead of the human resources department conducting the issuing of vehicles, board members decided to do it.”

PSMAS is a public health insurance agency with the bulk of its members being civil servants and, through PSMI, it runs medical centres across the country.

The “dossier” details how at least $15 million meant for medical aid claims was allegedly being siphoned out of PSMAS through PSMI and externalised by executives.

PSMI employees were allegedly not happy that millions were being spent on luxury vehicles for executives while the ambulance fleet was not being replenished.

3 Responses to ED’s anti-graft unit probes PSMAS

  1. Chigumirai March 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

    Surely the journalist profession has gone to the dogs. This so called story is riddled with inaccuracies and unverified innuendos and half truths. I challenge this reporter to prove that 250 luxury vehicles were bought by this company. Yes some vehicles were bought under both the vehicle ownership scheme for medical practitioners and managerial staff as a way of retaining employees and the funding was a lease financing arrangement paid for by the respective employees and not the company and the number is way below 250. The other batch of vehicles again funded via lease agreement are the branded job need vehicles which were purchased and are used for transportation of samples, drugs, stocks, furniture, equipment and many other business requirements. This arrangement actually resulted in huge savings on transportation costs. It’s also important to understand that tender system is not compulsory for a privately owned business so to say the purchase of vehicles was never advertised displays the extent of ignorance by this reporter. It is perfectly acceptable for a company to apply its own internal supply chain policy in its procurements.

  2. Chimusoro March 11, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

    Surely the journalist profession has gone to the dogs. This so called story is riddled with inaccuracies and unverified innuendos and half truths. I challenge this reporter to prove that 250 luxury vehicles were bought by this company. Yes some vehicles were bought under both the vehicle ownership scheme for medical practitioners and managerial staff as a way of retaining employees and the funding was a lease financing arrangement paid for by the respective employees and not the company and the number is way below 250. The other batch of vehicles again funded via lease agreement are the branded job need vehicles which were purchased and are used for transportation of samples, drugs, stocks, furniture, equipment and many other business requirements. This arrangement actually resulted in huge savings on transportation costs. It’s also important to understand that tender system is not compulsory for a privately owned business so to say the purchase of vehicles was never advertised displays the extent of ignorance by this reporter. It is perfectly acceptable for a company to apply its own internal supply chain policy in its procurements.

  3. Chimusoro March 11, 2019 at 1:18 pm #

    Surely the journalist profession has gone to the dogs. This so called story is riddled with inaccuracies and unverified innuendos and half truths. I challenge this reporter to prove that 250 luxury vehicles were bought by this company. Yes some vehicles were bought under both the vehicle ownership scheme for medical practitioners and managerial staff as a way of retaining employees and the funding was a lease financing arrangement paid for by the respective employees and not the company and the number is way below 250. The other batch of vehicles again funded via lease agreement are the branded job need vehicles which were purchased and are used for transportation of samples, drugs, stocks, furniture, equipment and many other business requirements. This arrangement actually resulted in huge savings on transportation costs. It’s also important to understand that tender system is not compulsory for a privately owned business so to say the purchase of vehicles was never advertised displays the extent of ignorance by this reporter. It is perfectly acceptable for a company to apply its own internal supply chain policy in its procurements.

    If you knew that this company employs nearly 2500 people and is found in all 10 provinces of the country with nearly 150 centres, and you were in touch with the reality of the costs of running a business in Zimbabwe you would know that there is nothing peculiar or out of the ordinary about the numbers you are fussing about in your article.

    Did you carry out a skills and qualifications audit to confirm this gossip that you published as a story? Who in particular is not qualified for what they do at this company?
    We must have missed the legislation that states that a private limited company must publish its purchases in the media. In the same vein we must have missed a myriad of articles on purchases done by other private companies in the country on their fleet purchases.

    Reporters must report on facts not hearsay. This company is one of very few surviving entities in this country holding together a dilapidated health industry. Instead of applauding its agility and vigilance, journalists like you now want to create phantom corporate scandals out of nothing and sabotaging government efforts to restore confidence in local businesses.

    Are you saying Ambulances are the only priority for this company? Has it occurred to you that the healthcare sector is reeling under a grave skills flight threat due to the trying economic environment and that there is a reason why these skills are being retained at PSMAS so that civil servants can continue to access services?

    If there is indeed such rot at PSMAS, why go to the press and not to the law enforcement agencies to report on these alleged corporate crimes. Musatiitise ma reporter imi. Reporters need to stop perpetuating this misguided notion that PSMAS and its investment company are state owned enterprises because they are not. PSMAS is a member owned organization and its investment arm is a private limited company. You would think any journalist worth their salt would be clear about that especially if your story is going to be based on the premise of ownership structure and the requisite governance framework. 10 new Ambulances are more than an entire fleet at some of the local Ambulance businesses especially if you say they were purchased in a single year. That actually means that they are doing something about their “old ailing fleet” nemanetsero eforex aya.

AMH logo

© 2019 The Zimind. All Rights reserved.

DMMA logo