By Audrey Galawu
The Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday said Government Employees’ Mutual Savings (GEMS) fund and Garrison shops deductions are voluntary, adding no civil servant will be forced to contribute 2.5% of their basic salaries to the scheme.
Jonathan Wutawunashe, secretary of the PSC, revealed that GEMS was an initiative tasked with mobilising savings by government employees for the purpose of wealth creation.
GEMS will benefit contributing civil servants, including those who would have gone into retirement.
“GEMS is a fund from which civil servants can benefit through concessional loans to assist them with wealth creation projects and other such requirements,” Wutawunashe said.
He also said civil servants who opt for the scheme would contribute 2.5% of their basic salary, adding that beneficiaries could withdraw their contributions even post-employment.
“Upon termination of employment, members can withdraw the totality of their contributions, with accrued interests,” he said.
Wutawunashe added that government had contributed ZWL100 million to the GEMS initiative.
“Government has provided a seed capital of ZWL $100 million, with the possibility of the amount being doubled to ZWL200 million to support the scheme,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Wutawunashe noted that Garrison shops were based on a self-financing model as they were about selling goods to customers.
“The operationalisation of Garrison shops for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Zimbabwe Police Services and Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services would ensure convenient access to reasonably priced commodities,” he said.
Wutawunashe also said civil servants would benefit from Silo shops as they would also operate on the basis of affordable pricing of commodities. Zim Morning Post