Admitting that some accountants have been involved in vicious corruption scams in Malawi, local accountants body Institute of Charted Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) says it has intensified efforts to fight the malpractice among its members.
Corruption remains a challenge to Malawi as evidenced by past and recent cases in which billions of Kwacha were and are still being lost.
Cashgate Scandal—plunder and public mismanagement of funds by government officials and private sector companies— comes out as one of the worst forms of fraud and corruption in which accountants were involved.
Other than this global corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) corruption perception index continue to rate Malawi poorly with recent ratings showing that Malawi scored dash points out of 100 in 2016 and has averaged points from 1998 to 2016.
Condemning the malpractice, Icam chief executive officer Francis Chinjoka Gondwe said the body has moved in swiftly to take action against all perpetuators.
“We have set up an ethics and investigations committee to look into such issues. Currently, the committee has concluded 17 cases involving corruption. These cases have been sent to the disciplinary committee for further action,” he said.
He said the body has a number of disciplinary actions that it takes time to penalise those found breaching code of ethics which depending on the crime include de-registering the member, fine and suspension after according the member fair hearing.
Over time, corruption cases have been an issue of concern and singled to be key among malpractices locking business growth and meaningful national development.
Business Development Facility director Gabriel Kamanga speaking to Business News recently pointed that corruption in public and private sectors of Malawi are now becoming rampant in all sectors and are fast growing.
He said corporate fraud and corruption have wasted the already inefficient public resources, increased cost of doing business in all sectors, perpetuated poverty and high life risk levels, perpetuated social-economic underdevelopment, corroded public trust and caused loss of donor confidence.
But going forward, Gondwe said the body will continue to sensitize its members on the importance of behaving ethically so that the country reduces financial scandals.