The Public Service Commission has released a press statement with regards to the recently announced Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS).
The Commission said that GEMS can benefit government through concessional loans.
PSC also said that the fund is separate from the initiative to revive garrison shops for uniformed forces.
Fears abound over the GEMS with members of the public saying that the government want to use the 2.5% fee which is to be deducted every month to fund the garrison shops.
We present PSC’s statement in full below.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES MUTUAL SAVINGS FUND (GEMS FUND)
1.0 GEMS is a voluntary scheme that mobilises savings by Government employees for the purpose of wealth creation to benefit those Civil Servants while still serving as well as post-employment;
2.0 GEMS is a Fund from which Civil Servants can benefit through concessional loans to assist them with wealth creation projects and other requirements;
3.0 A contribution of 2.5% of basic salary will be made by Civil Servants who opt to participate in this voluntary scheme;
4.0 Government has provided seed capital of ZWL $100 million with the possibility of the amount being doubled to ZWL $200 million to support Civil Servants by kick-starting the scheme;
5.0 Since GEMS is being launched as a facility for wealth creation, upon termination of employment members can withdraw the totality of their contribution with accrued interest;
6.0 GEMS is being introduced as part of the expanding portfolio of benefits to support the livelihoods of Civil Servants;
7.0 The Public Service Commission has been greatly encouraged by the strong support given to this and other such initiatives by the Office of the President and Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in the context of the Tripartite which comprises the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development;
8.0 Appreciation must be recorded for the swift and decisive manner in which Cabinet considered and approved the GEMS initiative, a scheme that fosters a culture of savings;
9.0 Another, separate initiative approved on the same day by Cabinet is the operationalisation of Garrison Shops for the Uniformed Services, namely Zimbabwe Defence Forces; Zimbabwe Police Service and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service to ensure convenient access to reasonably priced commodities;
10.0 These Garrison Shops are based on a self-financing model as they entail selling of goods to customers;
11.0 Logistical arrangements relating to the operationalisation of Garrison Shops are being worked out;
12.0 Civil Servants will benefit from SILO Shops which will also operate on the basis of affordable pricing of commodities.
Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe