Psmas board grabs $1m in allowances

HARARE - Troubled Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas)'s board members raked in a staggering $1 million in allowances last year, as fresh details of the alleged plunder at the institution emerge.

The members, including presidential spokesperson George Charamba and incoming chairman Luxon Zembe, were paid huge amounts in sitting allowances at a time Psmas was reeling under a $38 million debt and poor civil servants - its biggest contributor - cannot access doctors.

The revelations come as the scandal-hit organisation had approved — via a special committee and in which the top President Robert Mugabe aide sat — the extension of Cuthbert Dube’s tenure by 10 years in December last year and somehow contradict what the top civil servant had said about his remuneration on Tuesday.

As it is, documents seen by the Daily News show that the members received the following amounts:

- Meisie Namasasu —        $174 062.00
- Newton Mhlanga —         $130 787.50
- Chigwamba Constance — $66 050.00
- Sunguro Pretty —        $71 153.50
- Moses Mtombeni —         $71 900.00
- George M Chaburuka —  $234 546.50
- George Charamba —        $109 397.50
- Luxon Zembe —              $82 525.00

And as the “corrupt salaries” saga continues, the development shows the gravy train and patronage extended beyond Psmas House in Harare’s central business district.

“The average board fees varied. There is what is called a retainer. It’s a small fee, I do not have the figure (and) you have to go to management. The least remunerated has always been Charamba,” the top Mugabe aide said earlier this week.

And according to the same documents obtained by the Daily News this week, Charamba only fell short of George Chabururuka’s $235 000 annual earnings at the tainted medical funder, followed by Meisie Nemasasu at $174 000 and Newton Mhlanga at $130 000.

Charamba, meanwhile, earned a cool $109 000, a 2013 schedule seen by this paper shows.

According to the same documents, Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Pretty Sunguro was the least paid on $71 000, while Zembe pocketed nearly $83 000.

While it is easy to understand how Chabururuka probably grossed that much — as he was the Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI) chairman and Psmas heartbeat -— Nemasasu was a distant second as chairperson of the main board and regularly conferred more with Dube, a line State apparatchiks have sponsored.

In explaining the mechanisms of how the former chief executive’s remuneration package was arrived at, Charamba said the issue was mainly driven by the Zimbabwe Football Association president and a string of ex-chairpersons in line with a 60-year-old tradition or arrangement at the society.

“We found the machinery (salaries arrangement) already in place. We fatally assumed government policy was being followed,” he said, adding “there was a board within the board who in secrecy agreed on conditions of service.”

Charamba, however, emphasised that the rot was not institutionalised, but “reduced to the CEO (and) not members of our board” and even, though, it had a consequence of besmirching “the image of the whole board.”

Crucially, he had even “shot down” a proposal to pay board members who had not attended some meetings.
And as Dube comes across as the fall guy, and a victim of factional fighting in Mugabe’s Zanu PF, it turns out that his salary — the main cudgel for his unceremonious exit and hounding — was made up of Psmas earnings at $92 000, and another $138 000 from PSMI and Zambia entity benefits.

This also comes amid revelations that all the board members sat on key committees, including one for the controversial group chief executive officer’s remuneration committee, which approved the disgraced Dube’s salary.

Zembe — a business consultant and corporate governance guru — also sat on several company boards and at least eight of 13 sub-committees within the $310 million medical services group.

These subsidiaries include PSMI — where Dube was given a 20 percent stake funded by the parent company — Claybank Clinic (Private) Limited, Dorothy Duncan Centre, Premier Optometry Services (Private), Emergency Medical Rescue Ambulance Services, Premier Service Clinical Laboratories (Private) Limited, Premier Rehabilitation Services and Premier Dental Clinics (Private) Limited.

With three other top government officials, including Higher Education permanent secretary Constance Chigwamba, Nemasasu and PSC senior staffer Sunguro on the boards, the other companies include Medical Centre, Parkview Hospital, PMAC Properties, Premier Services Medical Healthcare (Private) Limited, Premier Service Hospitals Chiredzi, Premier Service Hospitals Shashi, PSMI Hospitals (West End Hospitals), Premier Service Pharmaceuticals (Private) Limited and Premier Service Radiology.

And as new information indicates that the Psmas board had approved Dube’s continuation until 2024 — and when he was 70 — it is clear that the group was either happy with his performance or maintaining the status quo that has come to haunt them, analysts said.

Among a litany of fresh details that the Daily News reported on this week, the ousted chief executive was not only entitled to a $500 000 long service-award payment every five years, but was also given a host of allowances.

These include free medical aid cover, unlimited fuel, guards, chefs and other top-hat benefits.

And amid revelations that Dube was in line for a 20 percent stake in PSMI — a company formerly run by Farai Muchena and which essentially holds all of Psmas’ operating assets, including hospitals — it has emerged that this was to be funded by the mutual organisation “as part of his retirement package”.

Comments (21)

It is a well known fact that everyone involved gets a golden handshake and is nominated in other boards of parastatals, its been that way ever since. you boring us with these fake surprises; in any case these parastatal bosses do not just wake up and claim monies. it is approved by their boards, perm sec and ministers. Now stop acting surprised. With the comptroller-general still working on 2005 books, any ministry head can get away with murder. Talk something useful; where does one get potatoes-in-a-sak seed and training?

tinopona mhlanga - 7 February 2014

i like what comrade charamba said Last night there is a new dawn in Zimbabwe . An i hope he will drive idea this to his collegues who are appointed secretatries to other ministries. Keep up the good and honest work that yu will do in your new found state of accountability sir yu the only one who admitted the truth

BC - 7 February 2014

kana vapedza ne psamas ngavaongorore ma community share schemes. pane nyaya varume.

jore - 7 February 2014

Mwari ndavatiwanire Nyasha

varidzivenyika - 7 February 2014

investigate all public listed companies execs salaries.

KURAI RUDHANDA - 7 February 2014

The community share ownership schemes are a disaster in Mash West. Investigate and expose this rot. Busi , the DAs and the Chiefs are milking down ZimPlats

dchiwiro - 7 February 2014

how many members of psmas are dying because they have exhausted the $400 drug facility per annum before the year ends while PSMAS is paying hefty salaries for management instead of increasing the drug facility.

hooter - 7 February 2014


Toragidi Uzvitonge - 7 February 2014

I would like to see what parastatals are awarding , such as Zinara etc. All worth investigating.

Sophia - 7 February 2014


Kuraira - 7 February 2014


more more - 7 February 2014

Zimbabwe belongs to Zanu Pf, they brought independence to themselves, so they should enjoy everything. It only takes one day to change things, and no-one is safe. Least we forget, Muzorewa once ruled this country, the same applies to the group. Everything comes to an end. The drumming is getting louder, and people can't be fooled continuously. Being peaceful does not mean foolishness. Remember that. Even if you are at Chaminuka Buildings, jobs come to an end. These are not jobs for life, ma Comrade, you will struggle and your children children will suffer.

themba - 7 February 2014

Now that president's aid is included in the scandal, the case is going to die a natural death. check history. what happened the parliamentary candidate of mabvuku. he simply threated if he is in tight corner he will divulge big names included in the scandal and the case died naturally. we know the people but and everybody knows but ndezvevakuru.

ray - 7 February 2014

People should just learn to accept the truth that anyone who has been appointed into office on a ZANU PF ticket is essentially a thief,

avaram vilbram - 7 February 2014

This explains why we are ranked so high in terms of corruption.All along we were told its the WEST working against us.

NEW ZIM - 8 February 2014

a chance to make money on the net

magnum - 8 February 2014

I think we were misrepresenting facts that there are external sanctions from the west. We have self imposed sanctions where mega salaries are given to individuals and these salaries are not banked in our local banks. i suggest the government in awarding parastatal bosses salary,let them use the formula of multipling the lowest paid employee's salary at at company times 5 will be the salary of the CEO. This means,if the least paid is $300-00,then the CEO will take away home $1500.00 and you will see all parastals growing within 21 days from the day of implementation

drobra chinotimba - 8 February 2014

Thats y ZANU PF should be voted out. No party should rule for more than 10 years period.

Jukwa - 8 February 2014

This is the poison which is killing this country. Its called Justification for wrong doing coming from the Head Of State and his entire cabinet. Zanu-Pf is a rotten corpse which is contaminating everything near its decaying organs. Harare City Council has a Mahachi, Zvobgo, Muzenda, Goche, and Chombo killing the City whilst they are getting rich. The City belongs to them, look at the way they allocate stands to one another. This Country will remain in 1970 until someone with Developmental mentality comes to power. All these Officials know is that their relatives put them in office as a reward for bringing independence to their relatives and families into power for life.

themba - 8 February 2014

My own conclusion of this is proof that Zim is a very rich country but is being led by a bunch of greedy lunatics. It is very specially in a way coz it can afford to pay CEOs way more than USA president or any world leader so it means we can afford to hire people like Warren Buffet or any highly qualified individual to come and run our country. What do you think Zimbos

Gwenaz - 8 February 2014

Now where is Mugabe? What do you say about this rot? Why are silent . Are you still sick and horrizontal on your bed? You rigged elections so that you can be president at that dying age so now do your job and we see.

Dibulaanyika - 8 February 2014

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