PSMAS restructures, could demutualise

PSMAS restructures, could demutualise

By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, May 18 (The Source) – Premier Services Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), Zimbabwe’s largest medical aid society by subscription, is restructuring and could possibly demutualise following a highly publicized corporate scandal which saw its executives pocketing millions of dollars in salaries.

Demutualisation would see PSMAS transforming from a mutual society, owned by its thousands of contributing members, into a commercial entity with shareholders.

The distressed health service funder, which boasts of nearly a million beneficiaries mainly from the public service, began rolling out a new turnaround strategy following the exit of former group chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube.

Dube was at the centre of a public enterprise pay scandal after it emerged he was taking home about $500,000 per month in salary and allowances.

The PSMAS board retired Dube in January last year after revelations of his hefty salary and perks sparked public outrage and condemnation from government.

Sources close to the development said the issue of demutualization was expected to be tackled at the group’s annual general meeting slated for Thursday.

“Issues on the agenda will include abolishment of the group chief executive officer’s post for a principal officer. The issue of demutualization is also expected to be thrown in this meeting,” a source said

Interim managing director Gibson Mhlanga, however discounted the demutualization claims, but admitted the group would restructure.

“PSMAS is now headed by a managing director. The term GCEO (group chief executive officer) will apply to the head of the holding company following restructuring,” Mhlanga said without elaborating further.

“I’m not aware of any demutualization,” he added.

PSMAS has a total membership of 802,072 of which 671 133 (83.67 percent) are civil servants and their dependants while the remainder are from over 300 private companies.