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VP Chiwenga dissolves PSMAS board citing massive corruption

"We were not going to allow corruption to continue, so the PSMAS board was dissolved," Chiwenga

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Minister of Health confirmed he dissolved the embattled Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) board following massive corruption.

The medical society was taken over by the line Ministry in July after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) was canceled on June 30.

PSMAS’s AGM was postponed indefinitely after the government announced that an external forensic audit was required first to determine the medical society’s poor performance.

In September this year, four Premier Services Medical Investments (Pvt) Ltd (PSMI), PSMAS’s investment arm, medical services chief executive officer Farai Muchena, managing director Tafadzwa Gutu, Victor Chaipa, Cosmas Mukwesha and Shingai Mabuto were arrested over allegations of theft, fraud and forgery involving millions of dollars.

Accordingly, Chiwenga was asked in Parliament by opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP Amos Chibaya why PSMI clinics were closed across the country when civil servants are paying subscriptions.

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Chiwenga started by stating that the situation was being resolved adding that the PSMAS board had already been dissolved over corruption. He added that an interim board was being enacted to allow the institution to operate.

Chiwenga also cited the forensic audit taking place at the medical insurance company as one of the steps towards restoring normalcy.

“I believe as I am speaking, this august House should be aware that things were not in order at PSMAS. We were not going to allow corruption to continue, so the PSMAS board was dissolved. As I am speaking, we are enacting an interim board.

“I know that this has brought challenges to civil servants and other members of PSMAS but we are working on resolving that issue. Right now there is a forensic audit that is being carried out and this issue is being investigated fully by the regulatory authority,” Chiwenga said.

The former army General further stated that the government had already intervened to make sure that PSMI clinics get medicines and operate.

“We cannot continue until we are certain of what transpired, so we must allow those who are investigating time to investigate. The point is that there was corruption at PSMAS.

“Government contributes 80% of the contributions whilst civil servants are contributing 20% which constitutes 100% towards PSMAS contributions.

“We intervened and said that medication should be availed to PSMAS hospitals so that they continue to function. We talked to Dr. Maulane and we held discussions with PSMAS leadership on the medication needed and there is no hospital that is going to be closed.

“What Hon. Chibaya said it pertains to administrative issues. We want them to expedite the opening of hospitals and this is what we are doing as Government. After the forensic audit at PSMAS then the august House will be informed in due time,” Chiwenga said.