The Zimbabwean Government is mulling setting up garrison shops for uniformed forces as a way of cushioning them against spiraling prices of basic commodities.
This came out during the post cabinet press briefing presented by Information, publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa.
“Garrison Shops will be established to enable all members of the defence forces who will be on the GEMS Fund to have the additional benefit of accessing subsidized basic commodities that would be sold in the specialized shops located within cantonment areas”
Government will with effect from March establish the Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS) which will see Government deducting 2,5% of total remuneration being deducted from every Government employee.
“Following presentation by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the proposed Civil Service Mutual Savings Fund, Cabinet resolved as follows: that the Government Employees Mutual Savings Fund (GEMS Fund) be established with effect from March, 2020” said Mutsvangwa
Government according to Mutsvangwa will inject a sum of ZW$100 million for the establishment of the fund.
“Government will immediately provide a lump sum injection of ZW$100 million from the budget to facilitate the expedited establishment of the Fund. A 2½% of the total remuneration be deducted from every Government employee in consultation with the Public Service Commission” she said
She said a Steering Committee comprising the Public Service Commission, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; and the Office of the President and Cabinet shall be established to decide on the implementation modalities of the Fund.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the GEMS Fund will cushion civil servants from loan sharks who are charging high interest rates.
“What we have found is that the civil servants tend to borrow out there some of them are actually in serious debt, with loan sharks charging very high interest rates and our view is lets provide our civil servants an alternative where they can borrow cheap and support their day to day activities” said Ncube
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