Young Auditor Appointed to Top Position

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK A young black male Namibian accountant made history when he became the managing-partner of internationally recognised accounting company Deloitte & Touche. Thirty-three-year-old Vetumbuavi Junius Mungunda will take up the position from January 1st next year. This latest development was announced at a change of leadership ceremony of Deloitte Namibia at a local hotel in the capital yesterday. While this marked the ascension of Mungunda to this position, it also marked the retirement of Jens Kuehhirt as a senior partner of Deloitte Namibia after nearly 35 years. In recognising the two men’s sound achievements and progressive futures, Prime Minister Nahas Angula said the change in leadership in the company comes at a time when there are significant changes in the regulatory environment affecting auditors and increased demands for enhanced governance practices. The accounting profession and the business sectors have experienced a period of unprecedented change resulting in the adoption of new auditing and accounting requirements worldwide. This is due to the numerous accounting scandals such as Enron and other embarrassing fraud and executive pay practices on an international level. Thus new corporate governance and financial standards came into effect “Namibia has not been exempt from these developments, also experiencing increased levels of reporting fraud and other governance failures,” said Angula. Consequently, the Premier said, good governance does not only apply to the state owned enterprise (SOE) sector, but there is also a need for the private sector to play its part. In an effort to promote good governance in both the public and private sectors, there needs to be an effective evaluation and monitoring process. The Prime Minister commended Deloitte Namibia for its plans to conduct a survey into the governance of SOE’s in the country. “I support this survey in that it will enhance better understanding of the current practices, provide benchmarking and prompt application of best practices by the individual SOE’s and will encourage participation by the SOE’s,” explained the Premier. He said young men like Mungunda serve as role models to how the youth of today should build themselves up in a profession. “Young people must study for a profession then their future is secure,” added Angula. With the latest change of leadership, Kuehhirt will be retiring from the position as from December 31st this year to pursue his personal interests, while Mungunda will be taking over as managing partner as from January next year. On his part, Mungunda said that he was willing to take the challenge of leading the auditing firm to greater heights, just like his predecessor. “I’ll pay close attention to (building) public trust, accountability and integrity as key players, while maintaining independence from our clients,” he said. Mungunda completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Namibia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy at Rhodes University. He joined Deloitte in 1996 as a trainee accountant and in the same year was among the first black Namibians to pass the Final Qualifying Examination of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board of Namibia. He completed his articles in 1998 and was also in charge of coordinating audits for multinational clients at an office in Chicago, United States. It was in June 2001 that he became the first black partner in one of the country’s big five auditing firms when he was admitted to the Deloitte and Touche partnership.