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Friday, June 2, 2023

PSMI board chair and his deputy to spend the weekend behind bars

Story by Fungai Jachi

PREMIER Services Medical Investment (PSMI) bosses who allegedly prejudiced the entity of US$900 000 and over ZWL$14 million in unjustified holiday allowances will spend the weekend behind bars after the court deferred their bail hearing.

PSMI board chairperson Colonel Wellington Tutisa and vice chairperson Cecilia Alexander, who are being charged with three counts of theft and contravening the Public Finance Act, will have to continue with their bail application on Monday after the court postponed the bail hearing.

It is the state’s case that Tutisa and Alexander were appointed to the board of PSMI as board chairperson and vice board chairperson for the period covering 2019 to July 2022, before they awarded each board member hefty yearly holiday allowances well-knowing that the board members were not entitled to the benefit.

Meanwhile, suspended PSMAS bosses Farai Muchena the Chief Executive Officer, Victor Chaipa the Group Strategy and Performance Executive, Cosmas Mukwesha and the Group Secretary Polite Mugwagwa have been freed on bail after the State failed to provide compelling reasons to warrant the accused persons’ continued detention.

The bail quantum of ZWL$400 000 is coupled with other conditions that include reporting to the police, residing at their given addresses and not interfering with witnesses.

They are expected back in court on the 15th of this month.

The State alleges that sometime in 2020, the PSMAS Board, to generate the foreign currency for the procurement of pharmaceutical drugs and other related medical equipment, passed a resolution to the effect that its management ventures into buying and selling gold.

It was resolved that staff members from its procurement department were to act as buyers and agents for buying the gold on behalf of the society before the quartet of Muchena, Chaipa, Mukwesha and Mugwagwa allegedly diverted the money for their personal use.

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