Chartered Accountants in Malawi donate desks to Chitipa school 

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (ICAM) has donated 40 desks worth K1.3 million to Lufita Primary School in Chitipa District, a gesture which has essentially shrunk the pupils to desk ration to 21 to 1 from 47 to 1.

ICAM President Bwighane Joel Mwenelupembe presents the desks to Lufita Primary School headteacher Mbisa.

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 Bwighane Joel Mwenelupembe emphasised that the Institute has great interest in ensuring the education environment is conducive.

“We are in the mission of training accountants,” Mwenelupembe 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.

“We are bound by a social contract to help, in any little way we can, in initiatives meant to improve the learning environment.”

ICAM CEO Dr Francis Chinjoka explained that the Institute does not make profits but uses membership fees to make donations in a small way as part of its corporate social responsibility program.

Lufita is the first primary school ICAM has ever donated desks to. Last year, the Institute donated desks to Mangochi Secondary School in Mangochi District.

The 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.

Of the 99 students that sat for Standard 8 examinations, 48 have been selected to national secondary schools as according to Howard Kayange, Coordinating Primary Education Advisor for the district.

ICAM’s gesture comes just prior to having their annual conference to be held at Sun ‘n’ Sand Holiday Resort in the lakeshore district of Mangochi from September 19-21.

The conference, whose theme is ‘Repositioning for Africa’s Economic Renaissance — Malawi in the Equation’, shall be graced by staunch Pan-Africanist, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba from Kenya.

Other high profile African professionals to grace the occasion include Zambia Institute of Accountants Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bonna Kasinga; Pan African Federation of Accountants CEO Vickson Ncube and South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants CEO Freeman Nomvalo.

Local speakers include ICAM CEO Dr. Francis Chinjoka Gondwe; 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.

Its current leadership comprise president Joel Mwenelupembe; vice-president Phyles Kachingwe and its management of Dr. Gondwe as CEO, Charles Chimpeni as director of technical and membership services, Bertha Misomali as director of corporate services and Ruth Mgwede Mdala as director of education and training.

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,” said the CEO. “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.”

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.

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