Cimas, Corp 24 row takes new twist

HARARE - The two-year-old feud between Cimas Medical Aid Society (Cimas) and Corporate 24 Hospital Group (Corporate 24) is raging on with the former in the eye of a storm from its members after using $46 000 to conduct an investigation to recover $35 000, which they said was wrongfully claimed by the hospital, court documents show.

In a High Court application in possession of the Daily News, Cimas is demanding $35 398 which it said was fraudulently claimed by Corporate 24 and a further $46 556, 55, which it claims was paid for the conducting of a second forensic audit which reportedly unearthed the anomaly.

The two entities’ eight-year relationship became troubled after Cimas started demanding its customers to pay cash upfront whenever they get treatment at Corporate 24.

This move, according to Mike Joka, the chief executive officer of the hospital group, prejudiced Corporate 24 of $2, 5 million during the time that it was under the embargo, over and above the $500 000 plus that it claims to be owed by Cimas in unpaid claims.

Since 2015, the case has been going back and forth, resulting in Corporate 24 reporting Cimas to the regulator, the Permanent Secretary in the Health ministry Gerald Gwinji for unfair and unlawful practices.

This exercise, however, failed to yield any meaningful results, with Cimas reportedly unilaterally hand picking an internal auditor Grant and Thornton against the regulator’s advice, which has created the current impasse, where the costs and fairness of the exercise is at the centre stage.

As the war raged on between the parties on the correct position pertaining to the funds owed from both end, Corporate 24 eventually agreed to participate in a forensic audit.

“Plaintiff had to engage the necessary services of forensic auditors at a cost of $46 556, 55 to determine, quantify, verify document and establish the extent of its loss to the defendant’s fraudulent activities…

“Defendant is liable to plaintiff for the amount of $46 556, 55 spent on the investigative exercise described above,” the court heard.

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