Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has proposed the establishment of a Civil Service Mutual Savings Fund.
It entails, among other things, the establishment of Garrison Shops to enable all members of the defence forces who will be on the Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS) to have the additional benefit of accessing subsidised basic commodities that would be sold in the specialised shops located within cantonment areas.
Commenting on the Cabinet’s resolution to give preferential treatment to soldiers above the rest of the Civil Service, legal expert and political commentator Alex Magaisa said:
2.5% contribution by civil servants is voluntary and the fund is not linked to the proposed garrison shops. But he [Mthuli] doesn’t explain why soldiers are getting preferential treatment now and why the rest of society must carry the costs.
The regime has been prompted to give special privileges to the military because it knows the conditions are dire and it fears the prospect of a mutiny from the disgruntled ranks who have discovered that they too were used in the November 2017 heist and August 1, 2018, and January 2019.
The fact of the matter is that someone will have to pay for the soldiers’ subsidised goods at the garrison shops and that someone is the taxpayer.
As for the “mutual fund”, that too will be looted by political elites and PEPs as they have looted all cheap government facilities.
… why the special treatment for soldiers when all civil servants are suffering? Why should everyone carry the cost for the benefit of the few?