Minister of Works and Supply Felix Mutati has challenged accountants in the country to participate in public debates on policy since they are knowledgeable on issues concerning governance.
Mr. Mutati says that accountants who are well trained must begin to voice out the change that is desired for Zambia to be a better country.
He was speaking last night when he was officially presented with the ACCA Global Advocate of the year Award winner Trophy during the cocktail reception and launch of the ACCA Advocacy Programme held at Radisson Blu Hotel.
“You have so much engine power in terms of competence, in terms of training but you are rather shy to participate in public debates about policy when you know too much, and then you keep pointing fingers at the politicians, that they don’t know what they are doing,” he said.
MR Mutati said, “this is because you are not panel beating us, you are not advising us in the various programmes of accounting”.
On the award, the minister said he will take it all parts of Africa and globally, and tell of Zambia’s story on how it deals with ethical standards as well as issues of integrity and how the profession continues to stand between cash and those that abuse the cash.
He called on the accounting profession to design common ethical standards as well as training platforms in order to minimise the fatigue on the students so that they do not write same things twice.
“The other challenge is the legitimate concern about ethical standards and conflict of interests,” he said.
He said accountants are being put in situation where they have to compromise their decision making potential “ sometimes called creative accounting” which he said is prevalent and much talked about by the Auditor General and must be tackled.
Mr. Mutati also called for clear communication skills in the profession for people to be able to make quick decisions.
He said accountants are one the greatest professions in the world because they make sure that wastage is minimised and prudent management of the resources is adhered to.
“And this is why last week on Saturday, we began the process of controlling the usage of the key component of Government asset which is transport to ensure that we minimise wastage, to ensure that the resource of the people of Zambia is used prudently and that is advocacy and it is critically important,” he said.
And ACCA Zambian Network Panel Vice Chairperson Sean Mukelabai urged all ACCA members to in Zambia to play a key role in developing the profession.
“There are many opportunities for you to get involved. Get involved, speak up and make things happen and at the same time broaden your professional network and learn new skills,” he said.
Mr. Mukelabai further noted that it was now time members to play their part in inspiring then next generation of accountants by sharing the diverse accounting experiences at some of the career talks and fairs where members of ACCA Zambia team deliver presentations.
On the other hand chairperson of the Local Advocacy Committee of the Global Forums Hastings Mtine reminded the members to embrace the Siavonga Annual General Meeting theme, “ Step Up and Be Counted ” adding that they all need to step up by getting involved in various causes and initiatives that seek to enhance the development of the accountancy profession and national development.
“Advocacy is more likely to be nurturing the next generation of professional accountants and we can harness your power and expertise in particular subject areas to raise the profile of ACCA membership and ACCA as an organisation and help us to champion public value and highlight the important role we play in making a positive impact in changing people’s lives,” he said.
This is contained in a statement issued to the media by Ministry of Works and Supply Public Relations Office, Ndubi Mvula , yesterday.