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Riot police seal HICC to stop PSMAS AGM

HARARE – Riot police on Thursday morning sealed off the HICC to stop the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) AGM from going ahead. 
This came as members tried to forge ahead with the make-or-break meeting in the face of resistance from Government officials, accused of pushing for the status quo to remain. 
The PSMAS board chairman Dr Jeremiah Bvirindi had intended to inform members, at the venue, that the AGM had been cancelled at the behest of Dr Jasper Chimedza, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Secretary Service Commissions, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe on Wednesday announced the PSMAS AGM had been suspended by the regulator to allow a forensic audit, which has commenced, to be completed. 
“Civil servants who are members of PSMAS and were planning to attend the AGM should therefore not travel for purposes of attending the AGM but instead report for duty at their workstations as usual,” he said in a statement. 
However, PSMAS members still turned up for the meeting with some saying the regulator has no jurisdiction in calling off the AGM.
This is the second year running that the regulator has caused the postponement of the PSMAS AGM, raising questions of their sincerity in seeing the success of the organisation. Some sections accused high ranking officials in Government of suspending the AGM to safeguard personal interests. 
Members’ efforts to go ahead with the AGM were stopped by riot police who sealed off the HICC hours before the meeting was scheduled to kick off. 
PSMAS members were gearing up for the meeting to debate calls for the dissolution of the Premier Service Holding Company (PSHC) and suspension of the PSMAS Management and Board over allegations of embezzlement of public funds.
Government officials are also under fire with insiders saying sub economic subscriptions are the root cause of hospitals not being well funded resulting in stock outs. 
PSMAS membership is over 90 percent civil servants, who are paying a monthly subscription of ZWL1,800 per month.
The PSMAS subscription was last reviewed in 2013 and the next adjustment was in October 2020.
The proposed ideal subscription was US$30 or equivalence for optimal benefits to be derived by members.