- Published on 05 July 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwe Mail
Former Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube drew a staggering $138 000 monthly salary from a subsidiary of the health insurer despite he was not an employee and that there was no binding contract to that effect.
Documents deposited with the labour Court by Premier Medical Services Investments (PSMI) managing director Farai Muchena show that Dube was "never an employee of the PSMAS subsidiary".
Muchena's affidavit was in response to a court application by Dube demanding his outstanding "salary and benefits" from PSMAS and its subsidiaries.
Dube had an inglorious exit at PSMAS after the media exposed that he was earning over $500,000 monthly in salary and benefits at a time when the society was battling to pay service providers.
He approached the Labour Court seeking arbitration in what he argued was a breach of contract by PSMAS and its subsidiaries. He argued he was still entitled to his salary and benefits.
"It is not clear from Dube's affidavit whether he is claiming unpaid dividends arising from his alleged shareholding or unpaid salary. If it is dividends, he is in the wrong forum. If it is unpaid salary, he has not produced the supposed contract of employment. Respondent denies that applicant was its employee at any stage," read Muchena's affidavit.
Muchena further averred that PSMI only "contributed" to Dube's salary as part of an administrative "arrangement" as "conceived and contrived" by the former group chief executive and the PSMAS board.
"That arrangement did not make the respondent (PSMI) a party to the applicant's contract of employment," said Muchena.
Muchena, according to court papers, argued that PSMI contributed no less than $138 000 monthly to Dube's salary and benefits under the "administrative arrangement" and he had effected the transaction at the behest of Dube and the PSMAS board.
"Administratively, I as respondent's managing director used to report to the applicant. However, applicant's contract of employment was with PSMAS and not PSMI. It was a result of this administrative set-up that sometime in 2013, the applicant advised me (as respondent's managing director) that the PSMAS board had approved his salary at $230 000 per month and more importantly that that the respondent company was to contribute a monthly sum of $138 000 thereto," Muchena added.
The court would also hear that even the list of executive perks that Dube alleged he is owed by PSMI were non-existent.
"Yet according to the index annexure ‘C' is some document titled ‘chief executive officer's benefits. Appearing on pages 12-15 of the bundle (of documents) as filed and served is a document titled the summary of group chief executive officer's current benefits as at 01 January 2013. It does not have the names of the parties. It is unsigned and undated," Muchena added.
After he was forced into retirement and the dissolution of the PSMAS board, Dube maintained that he was still in-charge and last month went to court demanding his salary arrears since January this year. Dube, also serves as football mother body, ZIFA, as president.
The PSMAS board came under fire for approving Dube's exorbitant pay-cheque at a time when the health insurer was failing to pay its service providers and members were being turned away from health institutions.
Government intervened and kicked out the board that included high ranking state bureaucrats and an initial investigation showed that Dube was taking home a staggering $535 000 in salary and benefits monthly from PSMAS and its subsidiaries.
The court last month ruled that the matter was not urgent and should go through normal court processes in the first set-back to Dube's quest for legal redress.