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Mafabi Runs to Court in Battle to Regain His Accounting Practice License

In a case filed at the civil division of the High Court, Nandala argues that by denying him a license, the institute has effectively declared him a sham accountant in a profession he has practised for more than 20 years. The case is filed through Galisonga and company advocates.
James Nathan Nandala Mafabi. Photo by FDC
Budadiri West MP James Nathan Nandala Mafabi has sued the Institute of Certified Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) for denying him and his company, MTC Associates, a license to practice this year.

In a case filed at the civil division of the High Court, Nandala argues that by denying him a license, the institute has effectively declared him a sham accountant in a profession he has practised for more than 20 years. The case is filed through Galisonga and company advocates.

Mafabi wants “a declaration that he and his the company fulfilled and satisfied all conditions for the renewal of a certificate to practice accountancy and that the decision to refuse to renew his practising certificate is illegal, irrational, unfair, and unreasonable.”

Every year, accountants or accountancy firms must apply for a license to practice as per Section 29 (1) of the Accountants Act, 2013. If a firm or an accountant doesn’t apply, they are de-registered that year and are not allowed to practice.

Mafabi says he submitted his application in October 2019 and that of his company in November 2019. From documents and e-mail exchanges between Mafabi and ICPAU, that URN has accessed, ICPAU wanted Nandala to fill a form for application. The institute also wanted to inspect MTC Associates.

In a letter dated July 16, 2020, on behalf of his company MTC Associates, Mafabi said he 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.

In court documents, Mafabi wants a declaration that his de-registration and that of his company, MTC Associates as a practising accountant and accounting firm respectively was unreasonable and premised on bias against him. Mafabi alleges ICPAU and the body’s registrar are motivated by malice, ill-will, and bias against him and his company.

Last month, accountants voted for members of the council that governs ICPAU and Mafabi got the highest number of votes. However, he was disqualified because the institute doesn’t regard him as a practising accountant this year.

ICPAU has filed its defence for the case that is expected to lift a veil on the workings of the accountants’ body.

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