By Isaac Salima:
The European Union (EU) has challenged accountants in the country to adhere to professional standards if the country is to avoid theft of public resources.
EU Team Leader for Economic, Trade and Governance sections, Jose Navarro, made the remarks in Blantyre yesterday during a student debate on transparency and accountability that the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) held at Soche Technical College.
Navarro said it was important for upcoming accountants to know standards in accounting which are essential for the country’s economic growth as they provide financial information that is useful in decision making.
“Governance standards in Malawi are low with issues emanating from stealing of public funds, among others. However, no country is immune to malpractices so we want the youth or the future generation of Malawi accountants to discuss issues concerning their profession so that their sense of ethical standards is increased and this starts with them,” Navarro said.
He expressed optimism that this would be achieved as the current generation is technologically advanced and exposed to knowledge outside.
Icam Chief Executive Officer, Francis Gondwe, said it is a concern that the country continues to register cases of plunder of public resources.
“It is for this reason that we have put in place structures aimed at disciplining accountants who do not perform their duties properly.
“Last year, we concluded 10 cases and, this year, we should also do more on this. Most of the cases involved negligence and abuse of resources,” Gondwe said.
The debate was held under the topic ‘Relevance of Accounting Standards to Economic Growth’.
Pact College, which was the opposing team, emerged the winner after defeating Malawi College of Accountancy.
EU is supporting the national competition whose semifinal stage will take place in the Central Region in coming weeks.