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FDC’s Nandala Mafabi loses ICPAU council vote

Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi has lost a vote to become a council member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) on the technicality that his 2020 practicing license was not renewed.

ICPAU published a list of seven members that have been elected by the accountants to serve as council members for the next two years.

The council votes the president of the institute. The new ICPAU council members are CPA Laura Orobia, CPA Constant Mayende, CPA Gloria Wakooba, CPA Stephen Ineget, CPA Ronald Mutumba, CPA Geoffrey Byamugisha, and CPA Josephine Okui.

According to people with knowledge of what transpired say that Mafabi got the highest number of votes, but “he is not yet a practicing accountant this season so he couldn’t make it.” In documents seen by URN, Mafabi is protesting to the accountants’ regulator’s registrar for having his license not renewed to practice in 2020.

In a  letter dated July 16, 2020, on behalf of his company MTC Associates, Mafabi said they had paid fees and filled the form at the request of the association but his name and that of his company were conspicuously missing from the list of licensed firms published by ICPAU this month.

Section 29 (1) of the Accounts Act, 2013 requires that “a practising accountant who wishes to renew his or her certificate of practice shall submit a written application to the registrar, at least two months before the end of the year in respect of which the certificate is issued.”

Most applications are submitted before October 31 each year to be licensed to practice the following year. Nandala says his application form was submitted on October 25, 2019, and the fees dully paid on January 17.

In e-mails from the institute to Nandala, ICPAU indicates that Mafabi didn’t submit some important documents that would lead to his license renewed. Also, it indicates that Nandala’s firm MTC Associates was not inspected.

In a March 13, 2020 e-mail to Nandala, Henry Nabaasa, an administrator at ICPAU, asked Nandala to provide re-application for registration as a practising accountant for 2020. It also said he provides valid professional indemnity insurance. Nandala was also asked to provide a revised firm’s letterhead with the firm number and the statement: “the firm is licensed and regulated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda”.

Mafabi says in a letter to the institute that there is no law that requires him to fill a form. He says he is required to make an application which he did and argues in the letter that even if his firm is not granted a license, he as a person should not be denied one.

He wonders: “Under what law will you not issue a certificate to Nathan Nandala-Mafabi because you have not issued a license to MTC Associates?”

Yet in a June 2020 letter, Derrick Nkajja, the ICPAU chief executive says Mafabi’s application was not received on time and the council ordered for his removal from the practising accountants’ register.

Mafabi, who has been a partner at MTC Associates since 1999, is one of the most respected accountants in the country. Nandala says he has instructed his lawyers to take up the issue of his license renewal urgently.

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