Whinsley Masara Chronicle Reporter
PARLIAMENT has adopted a motion recommending the prosecution of individuals fingered in the looting of funds at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).
Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross proposed the motion in which MPs said they were highly disturbed by disclosures in a forensic audit report that millions in subscribers’ funds were used to pay senior managers at a time when the society was failing to pay service providers and other creditors on time.
“This House calls upon the executive to; immediately set in motion processes for the prosecution of all those who benefited from this scandal; take remedial action to recover the funds that were paid to those individuals who were unjustly enriched; investigate the role of the Board of the Society that was in charge of the affairs of the society at the time of this abuse of funds and if found culpable, that prosecution be extended to former board members,” reads part of parliamentary motion.
In summing up the motion, Cross said $120 million — the equivalent of parliament’s five year budget — was misappropriated.
“The salary drawn by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cuthbert Dube, in his last year of service before he was dismissed from the position would have paid the salaries of every single Member of Parliament of this House. Every single Member of Parliament could have been paid just from the salary of one individual. In fact, six executives over a period of five years drew a total of salaries and allowances worth $64 million. The official salaries over the same period of time were $2,9 million, which means they drew unlawfully $61 million from the resources of the society equivalent to 95 percent of the amount which was paid to them as individuals,” said Cross.
He said according to the audit report, allowances worth $24 million were paid to 16 staff members including Dube’s secretary and driver.
“The budget for this House this year is $20 million and here are allowances for these ridiculous issues being paid to these individuals. In addition, the holiday allowances paid to Dube and his family totalled $6,000 per day or $539,000 in three years. In addition, he drew cash loans worth $350,000. He drew travel and subsistence allowances worth $3,2 million,” he said.
One of the trips which were covered by this subsistence and travel allowance was a private trip to Nigeria to see the Prophet TB Joshua. Payments were also made for relatives, including his son-in-law and his daughter to go on holiday. Some $22 million was spent on land, buildings and motor vehicles all of which with inadequate documentation and records. This includes a house for the Chief Executive Officer at a cost of a million dollars.”
He said the report states that $3,8 million was paid to “high profile individuals — politicians, legislators and government officials — who have not been named.
Cross said parliament must also summon all those said to have looted funds from PSMAS for hearings.