Corruption And Mismanagement Costs PSMAS US$60 Million
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondongwe
Gross embezzlement and mismanagement of contributors’ funds by Premier Service Medical Society (PSMAS) top management, the board, health service providers and the organization’s affiliates cost the company at least US$60 million, a recent internal audit has revealed.
A forensic audit conducted on PSMAS and its affiliates in the public interest revealed that between 2018 and July 2022, the organization lost around US$60 million (ZWL60 Billion circa at the current interbank rate) in contributor’s funds through theft and mismanagement by the board and management at PSMAS, its affiliates, as well as from some unscrupulous suppliers and health service providers,” said Government in a statement.
According to the audit findings, some suppliers and health service providers were engaging in malpractices in connivance with PSMAS Board and Management and its affiliates.
“Further analysis showed that had these funds not been misappropriated, PSMAS should have been n in a position to provide adequate and satisfactory services as expected by its clients.”
The government has since taken measures to curb the leakages and corruption at PSMAS.
These include availing funds required to pay debts owed by PSMAS and its affiliates, bringing all suspects to account for their actions, taking all necessary measures to bring constitutionality and good governance back to PSMAS and its affiliates, bringing back PSMAS to its core business and to ensure the reopening of PSMAS Health delivery facilities immediately.
“It has further come to the attention of the government of Zimbabwe that the phenomenon that has been observed at PSMAS involving abuse and misappropriation of contributors’ funds, accompanied by high contributory fees not commensurate with the service being provided is also rife in other medical aid societies operating in Zimbabwe,” government has said.
In 2022, the registrar of Medical Aid Societies ordered a forensic audit into PSMAS, to find out if the medical aid society was not abusing funds by engaging in non-core business.
Cases in point include investment in micro-finance, buying and selling of gold, extending society beyond the borders, and creating additional institutions that draw funds from the society’s core health care provision business.
Meanwhile, four PSMAS bosses including CEO Farai Muchena and three of his senior subordinates are before the courts on allegations of squandering US$702,386 which was meant for drug purchases after misrepresenting facts to Fidelity Printers in a gold deal.