EDITORIAL COMMENT: Untainted leaders required to run PSMAS

PSMASPremier Service Medical Aid Society has been making news headlines for far too long, with allegations of mismanagement and corruption taking centre stage at the expense of service provision to thousands of its members.

Amid the accusations levelled against the previous leadership of Cuthbert Dube ranging from receiving mega salaries to failing to pay service providers and non-adherence to corporate governance, no person has been brought to book for running down the society.

Instead, a new management has been appointed, which has also been caught up in the web of mismanagement, prompting the new board led by Mr Jeremiah Bvirindi to put the new managers on suspension.

The gripe we have with the new board is that it is showing a frightening level of short-sightedness by continuing to appoint people already tainted by corruption as they also served under Dube and benefited from the mega salaries scandal.

Any person who passes the reasonable man test will agree with us that the board now needs to be outward looking in its appointments instead of continuing to appoint people from within, the same people that brought PSMAS to its knees.

Expecting the authors of the problems to clean up PSMAS so that it starts on a new slate is just madness. The only thing they are good at is to cover up the sins they committed under the previous leadership.

Everyone at PSMAS who benefited from corruption and the mega-salaries during the Cuthbert Dube reign has no business being at the helm of the organisation. Leading the society requires untainted people and such people abound in the country.

We are seeing a situation where, instead of focusing on improving service provision and paying service providers who are owed millions of dollars, PSMAS is busy recruiting and suspending people when thousands of people who pay subscriptions and depend on the organisation for medical care are languishing, unable to access medical assistance and at times, are forced to pay through the nose for treatment.

We want to see normalcy returning to PSMAS and for this to happen, the responsible authorities must put an end to the madness prevailing at PSMAS where beneficiaries of corruption are appointed to lead the organisation.

As they say, new brooms sweep clean. PSMAS at this stage of its existence, emerging from the Cuthbert Dube corruption-riddled era, needs to have a completely new management to take it forward, otherwise we will continue to see energy and time being expended on recruitment and suspensions, something that can be avoided by simply taking a decision to open up management positions to allow every qualified Zimbabwean to apply.

Once a new team takes root, then the organisation can focus on responding to the needs of its membership and service providers. Members who are the majority stakeholders of PSMAS, given their contributions, cannot wait any longer for sanity to prevail at the organisation.

So much has been said about PSMAS yet very little has been done to clean it up. PSMAS has made news headlines for corruption in the same way ZIFA has condemned football to the dump yard. The tale sounds familiar!

The narrative at PSMAS should now change given that it is in the post-Cuthbert Dube era. Granted, that leadership messed up big time, but members who contribute their hard-earned money need medical assistance and this is what a new management should be seized with while the police deal with the sins of the previous leadership.

We are indeed sick and tired of endless PSMAS problems. Let the responsible authorities bring finality to the matter by ensuring people of integrity are appointed to run the affairs of this seemingly cursed organisation.