There are four vacancies to be filled for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) Council to its elective annual general meeting and conference to be held from Thursday, September 19-21 at Sun 'n' Sand Holiday Resort in the lakeshore district of Mangochi.
Prof. Patrick Lumumba: To be guest speaker at the conference ICAM president Mwenelupembe presenting desks as part of corporate social responsibility
And there are eight candidates interested to contest the two practising categories, one for non practising category and another for the academia.
However, ICAM's Chief Executive Officer Dr. Francis Chinjoka Gondwe said they do not disclose the officials that are competing and only confirmed of the number of vacancies that are up for grabs.
The Council comprises 14 members -- 5 practising, 5 non practising, 1 academia, 1 diplomate and 2 ex-officios.
The current Council members include Joel Mwenelupembe as president and Phyles Kachingwe as vice-president while the practicing members are Moffat Ngalande, Victoria Munkhondya, David Mhango and Madalo Mwenelupembe.
The non-practising members are Hilda Singo, Samuel Yakobe, Daniel Jere, James Kamsesa while the academia is Kezzie Mkandawire
The diplomate is Peter Chetama while the Accountant General and the Auditor General are ex-officio members.
Immediate past presidents include Henry Chowawa, Chiwemi Chihana and Lekani Katandula.
One highlight of the conference will be the presence of staunch Pan-Africanist, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba from Kenya, who is expected to deliver a speech under the theme, 'Harmonising Africa's Resources for Africa's Development: from Third World to First'.
He will be joined by high profile African professionals such as Zambia Institute of Accountants CEO Bonna Kasinga; Pan African Federation of Accountants CEO Vickson Ncube and South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants CEO Freeman Nomvalo.
Local speakers include Dr Betchani Tchereni (Dean Faculty of Commerce, The Polytechnic); Dr Thomas Chataghalala Munthali (Director General, Planning Commission); Prince Kapondamanga (Farmers Union of Malawi) and Charlotte Malonda (Competition and Fair Trading Commission of Malawi).
ICAM was established in 2014 and its role is to promote the accountancy profession in Malawi, to train accountants, to promote governance in Malawi and to enhance skills of its members by organising continued professional development (CPD) programmes among others.
The AGM, whose theme for this year is 'Repositioning for Africa's Economic Renaissance -- Malawi in the Equation', is ICAM's supreme decision making body which has 2,200 members.
"The success story of ICAM since its inception is that it has grown to be a powerful and respected body which influences policy matters in Malawi to do with governance, tax policies and financial management.
"ICAM was first formed as Society of Accountants in Malawi (SOCAM) and established by accountants themselves. Some of the notable names who were influential in establishing SOCAM include Mr W.B. Mwenelupembe, Mr. Ramesh Savjani, Mr. Andrew Chioko, Mr. Nkodola Uka, Mr. Simon Itaye, Mr. Bob Martin and Mrs P. Kamkwende," Gondwe said.
Over the years, other high profiled guests who have been invited to the AGM include Stephen Berry from UK, Justin Cohen, Chris Gibbons, Vusi Thembakwayo, Siphiwe Moyo, Alex Granger, Peter Van kets, all from RSA.
Professor Lumumba once served as the Director of Kenya's Anti-Corruption Commission from September 2010 to August 2011.
He, however, only served for less than a year and was dismissed under controversial circumstances and since 2014, he is the Director of Kenya School of Laws.
An eloquent lawyer, Lumumba holds a PhD in Laws of the sea from the University of Ghent in Belgium.
He is an admirer of Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankara, the deceased and assassinated revolutionary leaders of the DR Congo and the Burkina Faso, respectively.
Meanwhile, as part of their corporate social responsibility, ICAM donated 40 desks worth K1.3 million to Lufita Primary School in Chitipa District in August, a gesture which has essentially shrunk the pupils to desk ration to 21 to 1 from 47 to 1.
The school's headteacher, Levi Mbisa informed the ICAM delegation that presided over the event that they only had 15 desks, which essentially were also being used by the teachers themselves as they also had no desks of their own.
"We managed to source a few form chairs that were being improvised as desks but still many pupils learn while sitting on the floor."
Taking his turn, ICAM president Mwenelupembe emphasised that the Institute has great interest in ensuring the education environment is conducive.
"We are in the mission of training accountants," Mwenelupembe had said. "We take cognizance of the fact that without offering pupils the education background you are offering them now, we can hardly have a pool of students that would pursue accounting studies to become chartered accountants.
Last year, ICAM has ever donated desks to Mangochi Secondary School in Mangochi District.
Lufita Primary School has an enrolment of 1,397 and despite the challenging environment, it has registered a 98% pass rate at the recently released Primary School Leaving Certificate examination results.