Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

PSMAS workers break into tears after being retrenched without packages

A video has gone viral showing workers at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) breaking into tears after being retrenched without any package and outstanding salaries.

With its bosses in court over corruption allegations, PSMAS has been struggling for years to either pay its workers or provide medication at its clinics run by the Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI).

It’s hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have closed down across the country after being looted of much needed resources by senior government officials.

The company has closed West End Hospital in Harare and Claybank Hospital in Gweru after failing to pay staff, including nurses and doctors, for three months.

A video of PSMAS workers crying after being retrenched by the company was circulated on social media by top journalist Hopewell Chin’ono yesterday.

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The employees were crying asking why they had been sent away without retrenchment packages and outstanding salaries.

It was an emotional and heartbreaking moment for the rest of the workers.

“We have been silent for a long time. Most of the time we could go to Christmas without salaries but we were quiet hoping our company would grow. Now they are neglecting us. They did not tell us when they will cover our salaries,” a lady’s voice is heard in the video.

“Now they have given us retrenchment letters saying ‘you have reached 55 or 60 years. This is only happening to the workers and not the directorate. It’s hurting us because they are sending us away without a retrenchment package.

“We are appealing to the government to intervene.”

Chin’ono described the situation as “heartbreaking” citing it as a “consequence of looting” by ruling Zanu-PF party officials.

“Heartbreaking scenes of PSMI/PSMAS staff crying after being retrenched without a package having worked for 4 months without a salary.

“The PSMAS hospitals were shut down and the medical aid for civil servants collapsed after the massive looting of public funds by Zanu-PF elites.

“The consequences of looting will locate everyone, corruption affects everyone,” he said.

Few years ago, PSMAS was involved in a salaries scandal that came to be known as Salarygate. The scandal implicated President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba among other government officials a few years back.

Charamba who was then a board member, contributed to the fall of the medical service provider by approving the exorbitant salaries to be paid to Cuthbert Dube, the former boss at PSMAS who was accused of defrauding the company over US$23 million and to board members.

Charamba also benefited himself by being paid an exorbitant board membership fee, a total of US$109 397,50 in 2013.

Charamba actually admitted stealing the money.

“I agree, this is why, in fact, if the requirement is that we resign today, we would, because we failed Zimbabweans; we failed PSMAS and if we have to justify our continued stay on the board.

“We must be seen to be taking appropriate remedial action, I really admit that on that particular score, we did not ask correct questions and for that reason, we deserve to be condemned,” he said in an interview over four years ago.