Government workers’ unions protested in Harare on Monday in an attempt to stop the Public Service Commission (PSC) from taking over the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS).
Hundreds of workers yesterday picketed at the Public Service Association House along Livingstone Avenue in Harare after police, armed with baton sticks and shields blocked them from leaving the area.
Initially, the civil servants’ unions had planned to march from the Public Service Association House to the PSC offices, but police were closely monitoring their movements and cordoned off the area.
The workers then handed over a petition to the government saying that it has no mandate to take over PSMAS.
PSC secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe yesterday dismissed the claims that the government was planning to take over PSMAS. Wutawunashe said:
Any claim that any government ministry, department or agency plans to ‘take over’ PSMAS is as false as it sounds. Fortunately, civil servants and the public at large are aware of the character of such mischievous falsehoods.
Speculation about the cause of inefficiencies that threatened to paralyse PSMAS are unnecessary, and a forensic audit ordered by the regulator of medical aid societies is underway. A full and objective picture will emerge from that audit. Its results will be clear to all stakeholders.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said the government should stop meddling in PSMAS affairs adding that the largest and most experienced health service provider and medical society in Zimbabwe was formed by workers for the workers. He added:
We just want the government to hands-off PSMAS, let us manage PSMAS. We have seen that a lot of our hospitals are not functioning well. It would be naïve for us the workers’ unions to handover our organisation to the government. At least they should give us a chance to run PSMAS as workers and as the owner of this organisation.