PSMAS forensic audit starts

A forensic audit checking on the fiscal operations of the beleaguered Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) and all its subsidiaries has started with entries from 2018 up to date under scrutiny.

This type of audit ordered for PSMAS, is a detailed one that looks beyond just whether the accounts balance and looks at issues such as the actual management.

The audit is taking place against the background that PSMAS was deviating from its founding objectives, and had failed in successive years to fulfil its core mandate of healthcare service provision.

Currently, the set up of the organisation has a holding company, Premier Service Medical Investments, mining concern, PSMAS Zambia, micro finance among others.

When the subsidiaries were created, they were supposed to be under PSMAS but current manoeuvres have seen the body trying to deviate from that by appointing a board of trustees which will oversee the holding company.

The move seeks to ensure that the holding company owns all of the entities including PSMAS, a move which means the owners of PSMAS will no longer own other entities albeit they were started by the money which was released by the Treasury.

The position has caused the regulator of medical aid societies, who can act in any medical aid society since they all have to be registered, to order a forensic audit at PSMAS.

The three Government-appointed board members to the PSMAS board have since raised the red flag after they were sidelined on matters of the board.

The three are Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Martin Rushwaya, representing that office, Mr Pfungwa Kunaka representing Treasury which provides the bulk of the cash, and Dr Tsitsi Choruma representing the Public Service Commission, the employer.

“We cannot associate ourselves with the refusal to be regulated that appears to have been instigated by some members of the board.

“For these reasons, we feel that our function, as members of the apex governance structure of PSMAS, has been subverted and rendered ineffectual through pointed acts of discrimination and the offhand dismissal of inputs that would assist the society to get back on its feet to serve the real interests of PSMAS members.

“Clearly for us, this board has become dysfunctional as it has failed to play its fiduciary and governance role,” said Mr Kunaka.

“We would also like to dissociate ourselves, as PSMAS board members, from the intemperate attacks on a statutory function that was instituted to oversee the correct functioning of all medical aid societies in Zimbabwe, namely the Office of the Regulator of Medical Aid Societies,” he said.

Civil servants recently blasted their unions for trying, unsuccessfully, to blame the Government for the failures at PSMAS, which is supposed to provide medical aid for civil servants, yet PSMAS is independent of Government and belongs to its members, who are mostly civil servants. Herald

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