Mhlanga appointed Psmas manager

HARARE - Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) acting chairperson Gibson Mhlanga has formally been appointed the interim manager.

Mhlanga, who is a principal director in the ministry of Health and Child Care, has been given one year to set the debt-ridden Psmas in order.

He aims to have executed 90 percent of the work by December.

Health permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji chaired an extra-ordinary meeting attended by 732 of the 744 Psmas members who approved of Mhlanga’s appointment as manager.

Gwinji said although Mhlanga lacks a financial background, he was capable of leading the team that would steer the recovery of Psmas.

“He is a focused person who has served as principal director for a long time,” Gwinji said.

“I have given him tasks outside his job description and he has executed them well.  He questions things, is fair, respects authority and opinions of others, but is strict. I think those skills will help him manage the team.”

He added: “Of course, he is not a finance person and he has no experience in audit but as he sets up his team, we anticipate he will put those skills together and just steer the ship while these various skills then run with matters that need to be attended to.”

Following an exposé of mega salaries paid to Psmas top executives early this year, the board forced the then chair Cuthbert Dube to retire, while the board of directors dissolved itself.

Government was then forced to set-up a six-member interim committee in April, which was chaired by Mhlanga.

The other five members were director fiscal policy in the Finance ministry Eria Hamandishe, deputy director legal services in the Office of the President and Cabinet Nelson Charumbira, director industrial relations in the Public Service ministry Clemence Vusani, conditions of service general manager in the Civil Service Commission Lender Dube and Public Service Association president Cecilia Alexander.

Mhlanga was given two weeks to appoint a secretary and support staff.

The manager, who believes streamlining operations will revitalise the society, said results would come faster if he kept the team he has been working with adding a few more.

“For me the priority is for that Psmas card to be widely accepted by our practitioners especially in the public sector,” said Mhlanga.

“We can only do that by bringing back confidence and confidence can only be brought back if we sort out our house, that is, how we manage our resources. The more we reduce our costs the more money will be available for us to provide services”.

Mhlanga banks on support from his parent ministry to steer the Psmas ship.

Psmas had accumulated over $38 million in debt as of December 2013 but Gwinji revealed that the society is owed more by its clients.

Mabvuku-Tafara MP, James Maridadi, a Psmas member for 15 years, said the interim manager should move with speed to recoup monies “stolen” from the society.

“The process is good but it is not enough,” Maridadi said.

“He should write letters to demand money back from one secretary who took sitting allowances worth $240 000 and another $178 000, money they are not entitled to, failure of which they should be handed over for prosecution.”

Comments (1)

All the members did not attend kkkkk

Dik Dik - 16 June 2014

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