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No compensation for PSMAS members; only reprieve is punishing corrupt officials – Chiwenga

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By Anna Chibamu


PREMIER Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) members, mostly civil servants and other low income earners, who were deprived of health services by alleged corruption at the organisation, will not get any compensation, Vice President and Health Minister, Constantino Chiwenga has said.

Speaking in Parliament last Wednesday, VP Chiwenga said no one will get compensation as looted funds will be forfeited to the State.

The Health minister also told the august House those who abused money will be charged once investigations are complete and go to jail if convicted.

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The PSMAS board was dissolved to pave way for a new interim board, which the VP promised would be in place soon.

Meanwhile, a forensic audit is being undertaken to assess the loss to the entity.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) MP, Happymore Chidziva asked the VP “whether there is going to be compensation for those who have been inconvenienced considering the current state of affairs where you find women struggling to deliver.”

In response, VP Chiwenga said, “there is no policy which speaks to the compensation which covers a parastatal. Government has a responsibility because it is a shareholder. The only compensation is that when investigations are done, and we find that there was corruption, those who did corrupt activities will be incarcerated.

“If it is discovered that they stole the money and used it for different purposes, the State seizes whatever it gets and this will be forfeited to the State.

“We are going to wait until the results of the forensic audit are out and the august House will be informed accordingly.”

At the height of the confusion and corruption allegations period, some few years back, most of the PSMAS members left the medical aid society and joined other medical aid companies that were viable and delivering the
expected service.

Civil servants have for some years faced challenges of being turned away by service providers with their medical aid coffers usually without enough money to cover the needed services.

Government funds 80% of the contributions whilst civil servants contribute 20% which constitutes 100% towards PSMAS contributions.

Zimbabweans have lost money in several corrupt activities in housing schemes through cooperatives; insurance companies who have taken advantage of inflation thereby depriving beneficiaries mostly in education payouts.

Due to policy inconsistences, bad governance and other reasons, the local currency continues to depreciate against strong currencies rendering people poor as their buying power is reduced to zero.

This has affected the health sector, where most institutions are offering services in United States Dollars (USD).