High Court Judge Justice Charles Mkandawire has advised accountants to embrace integrity, honesty and strong moral principles.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) dinner and dance on Friday, he said integrity is the biggest problem Malawi is facing at the moment and has not spared any profession, including accountancy.
He said: “If you are an accountant and you are not a person of integrity, then things will not move. Integrity is the biggest problem we have.
“There are things that happen that you cannot believe they are being done by accountants. We are spending time elevating our personal interests instead of serving public interests,” he said.
Mkandawire’s presentation titled Strong Institutions: Key to Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Future also touched on issues of accountants being at the centre of fleecing institutions they work for.
“Some accountants even have the audacity to sign for allowances they have never worked for. As accountants, you must reflect on how much you have contributed to the decay of moral decadence of the society.
“If we want our children to enjoy what we have invested today, we must be people of integrity. Sometimes you sign for allowances that you were outside Lilongwe when you were sleeping in your home,” he said to the deafening silence.
Icam president Henry Chowawa said there is need for financial and economic peace since prosperity is becoming questionable in many African countries.
“Peace keeps eluding many people in Malawi, Africa and the world over. We need financial and economic peace,” he said.
Chowawa said Malawi needs the development of home-grown policies and development strategies.
“We want to see prosperity becoming the bedrock on which Malawi stands,” he said.
Icam member who is also partner at audit firm KPMG, Hastings Bofomo Nyirenda, called on accountants to embrace Mkandawire’s words of wisdom if the country is to progress.
“As a professional accountant, I find his presentation touching, and if well embraced, we would make our country an admirable nation on earth. His presentation was based in particular on matters of corruption which are sickening to hear about,” said Nyirenda.
He said the message needs to be relayed to all members of the accountancy profession in the country so that Malawi starts moving in the right direction. n