Govt launches GEMS for civil service

Government has launched a civil servants’ savings facility known as the Government Employees Mutual Savings (GEMS) Fund, which will create a revolving facility for its workers.

Speaking at the launch today, the Secretary to the Public Service Commission, Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said, “In cognisance of the need to cushion its workers and in preparation for a rainy day which can come for any one of us at any unexpected time, Government has set up the Government Employees Mutual Savings (GEMS) Fund.”

He said the resource-pooling scheme is aimed at creating a revolving fund which civil servants, who voluntarily choose to participate in it, can access at their time of need at concessionary rates far below the prevailing market rates and way better than loan shark rates.

“GEMS loans can be used for any projects or need of the civil servants’ choice.”

He also said GEMS is one of many of Government’s programmes on the Pay and Benefits Reforms aimed at improving the general welfare of the civil servants within the greater context of Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1.

“Besides GEMS, government has other non-monetary benefits such as housing schemes that are also accessible to civil servants to ensure that they have a roof over their heads,” said Ambassador Wutawunashe.

In February 2020, the government took a strategic decision to establish the Government Employees Mutual Savings.

After an initial three months accrual of contributions, members wishing to access short to medium term loans can submit applications through their Heads of Ministries and Departments. A nominal lending rate of 10% per annum has been set, with the expectation that lending thresholds will range between that rate and 15% per annum, depending on the actual amount applied for and the desired repayment period.

Contributory membership of the GEMS fund is open to other categories of Public Servants. For the avoidance of doubt, government workers other than civil servants can opt in by applying to the Secretary to the Public Service Commission.