Parirenyatwa sucked into PSMAS scam
Paidamoyo Chipunza Harare Bureau
THE Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, was unproceduarally paid $100,000 by struggling Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).
Documents seen by our Harare Bureau show that during interim management — which was headed by Dr Parirenyatwa’s surbodinate Dr Gibson Mhlanga — PSMAS authorised an urgent payment of $100,000 into Dr Parirenyatwa’s account through his private company CHEST.
PSMAS then effected an electronic bank transfer of $90,000 less 10 percent tax into CHEST’s CBZ Rusape branch account number 010222710180015 on May 13, 2014, as claims payment.
Sources within PSMAS said the money paid to Dr Parirenyatwa was well above his claims of patients he had seen at his surgery. These amounted to $23,000.
According to these figures, the Minister allegedly pocketed $77,000 for services not rendered to the society.
Dr Parirenyatwa, however, said the transaction was above board as PSMAS had not paid him for services rendered to its members for a long time.
“It’s all above board. It’s called capitation where a service provider can request an insurer to pay him more than what he is owed,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. “This money would then be recovered through future claims to the insurer by the service provider. It’s a common norm in the medical industry,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said at that time, PSMAS owed him in excess of $55,000 in unpaid claims.
This development happened at a time PSMAS was reeling in debt amounting to about $140 million in unpaid bills to service providers and its pharmacies, under the Premier Service Medical Investments (PSMI) were characterised with drug stock outs.
On Tuesday, Dr Parirenyatwa together with Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira ordered PSMAS board chairman Jeremiah Bvirindi, to reinstate suspended managing director Henry Mandishona despite him facing an array of allegations, including prejudicing the financially crippled society of nearly $300,000 in a space of four months. It is alleged that during his short period at PSMAS, Mandishona made unsanctioned donations totaling $126,538 of which some of the beneficiaries were paid sums of $19,860 twice.
It is also alleged that Mandishona caused a payment of $48,460 to LASOF Leadership Institute for training of all PSMAS staff members throughout the country- training that was never done to this date and the money was not paid back to the society.
Mandishona is also alleged to have engaged MaCoTra and Chess Employment to do strategy advisory work without authorisation from the PSMAS board and paid out in excess of $65,000. This was not budgeted for according to the society’s annual budget.
On July 16, 2015, a sum of $8,100 was also paid to Mandishona for unspecified purpose, with no supporting documents.
In addition, he allegedly amended his contract from a salary of $13,000 to $19,350 and instead of having one company car valued at $80,000, he allegedly altered his contract to two cars, one valued at $100,000 and another valued at $125,000.
Mandishona made several other transactions single handedly, worsening the society’s financial status.
It is against this background that the Bvirindi-led board sent Mandishona on forced leave pending investigations. According to a PSMAS statement a fortnight ago, Mandishona was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing instituted by the board tomorrow (Friday).
But the government, through Dr Parirenyatwa and Minister Mupfumira, ordered the board to reinstate Mandishona on the basis that these allegations did not warrant the board to suspend the managing director.
“Having looked at the pertinent issues we are convinced that their nature, scope and magnitude can be resolved whilst the society continues to run under the leadership of the board and the management of the substantive managing director,” reads part of the Ministers’ joint statement.
Meanwhile, the PSMAS board of directors is allegedly divided over the reinstatement of Mandishona with those seconded by the government insisting that they cannot defy a directive by their employer.
PSMAS has been facing a myriad of challenges ranging from a ballooning debt which now stands at $140 million and part of its challenges were as a result of looting by senior management.
Failure by the society to settle claims with service providers resulted in them denying treatment to PSMAS members leaving them with no option but to resort to PSMI facilities — PSMAS’s investment arm — which was also facing challenges in stocking medicines.