Sunday 17 December 2023


Members of Cimas medical aid society want an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the allegations of financial malfeasance and imprudent decisions raised by the general manager in a senior management dispute.

The members felt that while the allegations were raised in an acrimonious exchange between two executives, there was need for an EGM to interrogate whether they were getting value for their money given the nature of the allegations.

The development comes as the Ministry of Health and Child Care, which is the regulator of medical aid societies, says it is now studying a report submitted to it by the Cimas board responding to allegations of financial impropriety and unsound decisions made by Cimas health group general manager Dr Sacrifice Chirisa against management led by chief executive, Mr Vulindlela Ndlovu.

In an interview, Permanent Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Aspect Maunganidze said the Cimas board had complied with a directive the Ministry gave to submit a comprehensive report to the Ministry responding to the allegations raised by Dr Chirisa.

“We have since received that report. We are now studying it. We will deal with this issue the way we are supposed to handle it, meaning it will be without fear or favour and will be as fair and objective as possible,” said Dr Maunganidze.

Some members led by Phillips Law firm said there was need to discuss the allegations that seemed to suggest there was no value for money in some of the investments.

They had secured more than 100 signatures, enough in terms of the rules to convene an EGM.

“We hereby write to you requesting that an extraordinary general meeting be convened to discuss the issues pertaining an article dated 12 December 2023, which raises concern regarding the alleged gross misappropriation of funds on the part of the Cimas society management,” reads the letter.

“Phillips Law, as a member of the Society is deeply concerned by these allegations and their potential impact on itself as a Cimas member and for all other Cimas members.

“We are committed to protecting all our interests and upholding the integrity of the society.

“We, the members, very recently approved a close to 10 percent increase in contributions yet members continue to experience shortfalls with service providers.

“Therefore, we are hereby calling for an extraordinary general meeting to urgently discuss these matters. Find attached hereto the notice of the extraordinary meeting, which clearly outlines the agenda for the meeting. Also attached are the 100 member signatures as required by clause 9 of the constitution and the requested agenda.”

In a statement, Cimas board chairperson Mrs Emma Fundira acknowledged the allegations, saying the board would look into the allegations.

“The purpose of this communication is to assure all members and stakeholders that the society’s board of trustees takes these allegations seriously. While all expenditure, including capital expenditure, is always subjected to the society’s procurement and governance processes, the internal procedures to objectively look into these allegations are underway,” she said.

“Members of the society and its stakeholders will be kept well informed of these processes and outcomes.

“Meanwhile, the Cimas Medical Aid Society board of trustees would like to assure you that the society is in a sound financial position, contrary to the impression that may have been created through the aforesaid press report. At all times, the society has complied with both internal and external audit obligations.

“The external audit reports of the company are already in the public domain.”

In another letter to Mrs Fundira, some members called for the suspension of Mr Ndlovu pending investigations.

“Further to your recent statement in the Herald newspaper of December 15th, 2023, where you assured stakeholders of Cimas’ sound financial state; we would like to express our concern regarding the status of the chief executive,” read their letter.

“We believe that for the sake of transparency and to ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigation, the CEO’s immediate excusal or suspension would be the most prudent course of action. This measure would alleviate any potential for interference with the investigation from individuals directly implicated in the alleged misconduct.”

Some of the projects that have been described by Dr Chirisa as unviable include the renovation of Borrowdale clinic made at the cost of US$2 million, despite it being a rented building, the renovation of Mashonaland building at US$3 million whose costs are now higher than what was used to construct it and buying of property in neighbouring countries that are believed to be “shells”.

Dr Chirisa made the allegations in a case before a Labour Officer where he is applying, through his lawyers led by Dr Rodgers Matsikidze of Matsikidze Law Firm, for conciliation between him and Mr Ndlovu, following allegations of unfair labour practices. Herald


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