Workers say no to govt Psmas takeover

HARARE - Premier Medical Aid Society (Psmas) members will withdraw their affiliation to the medical insurer en-masse if government goes ahead with its plans to take over the society, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has said.

Responding to  weekend reports that President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet was advocating for government to take full control of biggest medical insurance company in the country, ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo told the Daily News that  workers were “ deeply disturbed”  by the reports.

Moyo said workers, the majority of them teachers who are members of ZCTU through the Zimbabwe Teachers Association, did not believe that government had capacity to turn around Psmas’ fortunes.

“We know they take Psmas as its cash cow because we have seen the likes of (presidential spokesperson George) Charamba benefitting immensely as board members but should they push ahead with that idea of nationalising it, we will all pull out because we know it will collapse like other State enterprises,” Moyo said this week.

“After all, service providers have of late not been accepting Psmas cards, so we have been paying cash upfront, so we will gladly leave and it will collapse.”

Moyo cited the example of National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zesa, Grain Marketing Board and many other quasi-government institutions that have since collapsed.

He said government had “no business in running businesses” as its role was to create a conducive environment for business to grow.

“They have no legal basis to take over Psmas and we disagree with their thinking and should they bulldoze their way, we will be able to stand up and resist them by withdrawing our membership,” Moyo said.

The Apex Council, which represents civil servants who constitute the majority of Psmas’ members, also expressed its displeasure at the development.

“We are surprised to hear of such plans because we have not been consulted on the matter. We hope to raise it with government in the upcoming meetings because this is a serious matter. We will seek clarification on the matter during those meetings and from there, we will come up with a position on the way forward,” Richard Gundani, the Apex Council president said.

Reports suggest that some ministers are being used by private sector vultures to dupe Mugabe and his Cabinet with a view of looting Psmas which has a membership in excess of 800 000, of which 80 percent are civil servants.

Government could face some legal challenges in its Psamas takeover bid as the medical insurer is neither a parastatal nor a State enterprise as it is incorporated in terms of both the Medical Services Act and its own constitution.

The fact was also confirmed by an adverse report by the parliamentary legal committee that noted “medical aid societies are regulated by statutory instrument 330 of 2000 which regulations are administered by the minister of Health and Child Care and is also responsible for the issuance and renewal of operating licences to all medical aid societies.”

Comments (9)

As one of the many SSB subcribers of PSMAS, I am of the opinion that Government takeover should proceed unabated. The current board cannot carry-on running the organisation especially noting how it is protecting fraudsters-cum-executives. The government is doing well in other parastatals that have upright boards to usher good corporate governance practices. Notwithstanding the economic challenges that the country is undergoing, government's involvement in ZESA, ZINWA, ZIMRA is sound and productive. How can they fail to manage PSMAS?? This news article has been influenced by Bvirindi or Muchena who are protecting a cabal of swindlers thus they want to block gvt involvement. Otherwise no worker would entrust his/ her funds in the hands of executives ho swindled over 22 million in fraudulent transactions outside payroll and through tax evasion.

DIVA - 4 December 2015

Government should takeover the operation of NRZ and no PSMAS

Chemical Solution - 4 December 2015

If zesa has collapsed as has been stated by the ZCTU secretary-general where are the lights coming from? Sure there is load shedding but power is still available. If ZESA had really collapsed like ZISCOSTEEL the phraise loadshedding wouldnot be in anybody's vocabulary because there would be nothing to ration.

msana we ngombe - 4 December 2015

NO!!! They have failed to root out corruption in the main ministries, what more at PSMAS!

Mukanya - 4 December 2015

DIVA tell me which parastal is functioning efficiently. They destroyed COTTON MARKETING, ZISCOSTEEL, NRZ, ZESA, COLDSTORAGE COMMISSION, AIRZIM, GRAIN MARKETTING. farming, hospitals, roads. Anything they touch turns to durst.

bexilford - 4 December 2015

Government will worsen things at PSMAS. Look at the people who were looting in the likes of Charamba, Mavis Gumbo, Parirenyatwa to name but a few. They want to loot and there has never been any parastatal run well.

Godwin - 5 December 2015

The government is looting everywhere. $40 million was taken from NSSA to buy Telecel. How can this happen? Remember the gov also looted RBZ and is now being recapitalised using taxpayers money. GMB is now letting silos to Zambian farmers because farming in Zim was destroyed. Zisco Steel is in limbo, and the story of parastatal failures is endless. Surely someone has to be accountable for this bad governance.

Shorty Gushungo - 5 December 2015

Diva idhodhi rakafanana naZvirozvirozviyedzwa. Ndechipi chakamboiswa ruoko nevanhu vezanu chikafamba? Kubva kumafarms ngatingotii nyika yese zvayo, vakaiwana yakanaka vakaiuraya. Vachiri kuda kutora zvese kuti vazviparadze iwe uri bishi kumira navo. Saka ndati uri dhodhi muCIO iwe. Takazama kuvabvisa nema votes vakaramba uchingovatsigira iwe. Futseki!!!!!!!!!

dembo - 5 December 2015

It is very sad to learn this development. Obviously every civil servant will withdraw from PSMAS the day ownership is assumed by government.

Dhurun'aru - 7 December 2015

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