Civil servants, some of whom will be facing the chop, are in for a big surprise as their various associations have revealed that there is a financial scandal involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in their umbrella organisation, the Public Service Association.
The Administrative and Executive Officer Association, the Civil Service Employees Association and the Professional and Technical Officers Association said they had uncovered cases of gross management and abuse of funds within the PSA.
A special conference of the members had recommended an immediate audit of PSA books by a team of independent auditors but the secretariat had denied the auditors access to the books saying they had orders to that effect from PSA president Nelson Bushu.
Bushu had, therefore, been suspended pending the investigations.
Some of the anomalies pointed out include the non-existence of an education fund agreed to in 1989 which should have had $140 400 in its coffers by the end of December last year.
Loans of up to $18 000 were granted to select staff within the PSA executive yet the scheme was only authorised to issue loans of $4 000. Members were submitting false claims for allowances with one who went to Mutare by bus claiming a vehicle mileage for $1 300. Another member and employee were paid $3 000 to register the PSA company but the company had not been registered.
The associations also said PSA employees were enjoying better benefits than the members with one being offered a loan of $50 000 and embezzling $11 000 without any action being taken against him.
The associations said despite huge surpluses, the savings and credit co-operative had not declared any dividend for its members from 1988.
The revelations came in the wake of a circular sent out by Bushu in which he invited members to pay $1 directly to the PSA.
In the circular, Bushu said the sub-associations had stopped paying the PSA their monthly $1 subscriptions for more than two months. In terms of the PSA constitution, therefore, services enjoyed by members like the savings and credit cooperative society; the unemployment, legal and death benefit scheme; PSA investments, benevolent fund loans and handling of members grievances should automatically have ceased from March 1, 1992.
Bushu said requests to the sub-associations to pay up had been ignored. The PSA had therefore decided to approach members to pay their subscriptions directly to the parent body. It was up to the members to continue or cease paying their subscriptions to the sub-associations.
Bushu also said a committee would be set up to look into the PSA constitution so that it could be amended to facilitate the payment of subscriptions directly to the PSA. These amendments would be presented to the PSA annual conference scheduled for October .
The association said the circular should be ignored and treated with contempt as it was a bogus scheme because there was no such agreement with the employer or the Salary Service Bureau for direct affiliation of members.
The associations also threatened to sue Bushu who they said was incapable of administering any scheme because of his dismal record of mismanagement and inefficiency.
The associations said Bushu’s ineptitude was clearly demonstrated by the ill-timed purchase by the PSA Investment Company of bakeries in the face of a devastating drought.
The Insider also understands that there is another scandal involving houses that were allegedly bought by the PSA but were registered in the names of some members of the executive.
These houses are in Bulawayo, Gweru and Marondera. The excuse given by Bushu to have the houses registered in the names of individuals was very dubious. He claimed that they could not be registered in the name of the association because of some technicalities.
What is worrying members is whether the association will be able to get the houses transferred to its name since there is no proof that the houses belong to the PSA although Bushu and some of the members of the PSA in whose names they are registered admitted the houses were bought by the PSA.
The houses were bought under a scheme that was meant to provide accommodation to the low paid members who could not qualify for loans from building societies.
The houses are, however, being rented out to individuals who are not even civil servants. It is not clear whether the rents are paid toe the PSA or to the executive members who purportedly own the houses.