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Cuthbert Dube earned $13 000 a day at PSMAS- MP says

In the case of Tetrad, there were US$19 million of insider loans to Directors which eventually led to the demise of the bank. Again, no action was taken. We now have the maladministration which has been revealed in NSSA. More than a year ago, the Public Accounts Committee of this House reported to the House on the maladministration of the affairs of NSSA and called publicly for the dismissal of the Chief Executive. Absolutely no action was taken by either the Minister or the Chairman of the board at the time. It is only now that the Minister has appointed a new active board to NSSA, that the board has taken the steps which we called for more than a year ago and suspended the entire executive structure of NSSA.

Let me remind the House, Mr. Speaker, that NSSA is the custodian of nearly US$4 billion of national funds, being the accumulated resources contributed to NSSA by workers over the last 23 years. In addition to that, NSSA is by far in a way the largest financial institution in the country handling revenues of nearly US$300 million per annum. The way in which these executives have behaved, gives me the sense that they feel they are immune, that they are protected from any kind of action which might call them to account. These are directors working in the public sector and in my view, Mr. Speaker Sir, this kind of thing has to be brought to book.

If you steal a cow worth US$400 from a farmer, you go to jail for a mandatory nine years. We have these people who have been stealing public funds still on the loose, in fact, enjoying their ill gotten gains. The losses to the general public allowing the closure of ten commercial banks was in excess of US$1 000 million in depositors’ funds. Mr. Speaker, really, are we taking this kind of thing seriously?

The Premier Service Medical Aid Society is 70% funded by the State. We appoint a third of its board of directors and it is the responsibility of two ministries – the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. In fact, last year our contribution to the society was US$140 million on behalf of over 200 000 civil servants who are members of the society and whose access to health was imperiled by the actions of the Chief Executive and his senior staff.

If I can just highlight for the benefit of members here what they did. Over a period of five years, which was the length of time which was studied by the forensic audit team, 11 executives at the society drew US$22.8 million dollars in allowances and US$86.9 million in salaries. On that, we paid another US$9 million in taxation. That represents US$119 million for 11 executives over a period of five years. Mr. Dube, the Chief Executive Officer of that amount drew US$23 million, his salary was US$13 000 a day for the entire period. Hon. Speaker Sir, it does not end there – [HON. MEMBERS: Laughter] – I do not think this is a laughing matter, I think this is extremely serious that this man was able to get away with this for all these years, while we had members sitting on the Board of Directors who were responsible and our representatives on the board were senior civil servants and yet nothing was done about this theft of public resources.

If we go on, in 2012, Mr. Dube, his secretary and his driver – I mean how bizarre can you get? He included his secretary and his driver in the deal. The three of them drew US$3m, Dube drew US$2.7m in four months, this is US$675 000 a month or US$22 500 a day. The other US$300 000 was shared between his secretary and his driver. One looks at this and we ask, what kind of planet does this man live on? During this time he was a very prominent member of our society, he was the head of ZIFA. He remained the head of ZIFA despite these disclosures until very recently when he was kicked into touch by the new Minister. Dube’s medical aid claims over the same period of time totaled nearly a million dollars, he claimed US$932 000 in medical expenses in the same period of time pamusoro pesalary – [Laughter] –

Hon. Speaker Sir, I just want to round this off with some really bizarre figures from this forensic audit. Dube paid himself a holiday allowance every time he went on holiday, he paid himself on top of his salary an allowance of US$2 000 a day and he paid himself US$1 000 for his wife, they drew US$3 000 a day whenever they went on holiday. The total amount in 5 years was US$540 000. This is not a joking matter, this is sickening, and it really represents the worst possible example of being prolifigate in public affairs that I have ever seen. The total drawn down as travel and subsistence on business in this period by the same individual was US$3.1million dollars.

I break down some of these additional charges; he drew US$130 000 as travel allowance for his son-in-law and his wife. He took US$300 000 as expenses for ZIFA. He was given cash transfers which he converted later into personal loans for US$770 000. His board fees over this period of time were US$407 000. When finally we succeeded in getting rid of him, he left behind debts – unpaid doctors bills of US$119 million. Now, Hon. Speaker, the question is what do we do about this? When I approached the Medical Society for a copy of this forensic audit which was completed in February this year, not last month, in February I was denied this report. Even so, we have had this report for 9 months without any action from the Executive whatsoever.

Hon. Speaker, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: what was the culpability of directors of the society at this time? Surely, I have been a director of companies, I have been a senior executive in business, and I know what it is to be a director and to be accountable for the affairs of the organisation you are running. We have got to examine the culpability, not just for Dube and his other 10 senior executives because there is more than just Dube, they are all guilty of similar prolificacy. What was the culpability of the board? I do not understand why there has not been a full public enquiry into this matter? This is not peanuts, this is a huge sum of money, the total budget of this House is US$20m a year, and this scandal involves US$119m. Get that into perspective, I think the total cash allocated to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education this year apart from salaries is US$10 million. This man here used 10 times that during his period of office and nothing is done. Hon. Speaker, I hope the House is going to be totally united on this and I hope that we are going to pass this motion with all the force at our disposal. We are going to demand that the Minister appears here personally and gives us an account of what he has done about this matter – [HON.MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

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