It was an enchanting Friday evening as the Institute of Certified Professional Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) celebrated 25 years of existence at a glam dinner held at Resort Beach, Entebbe.
By 7:00pm, guests, who were majorly accountants; clad in all sorts of Black-Tie attires were elegantly trickling in for the much anticipated gala.
Notable among them were Auditor General, John FS Muwanga; MPs Nandala Mafabi and Cyrus Aagon; plus ICPAU President, Protazio Begumisa.
One of the significant activities carried out at the event was recognition of accountants that have played a tremendous role to the development of the profession.
The award ceremony kicked off at about 8:15pm, with Catherine Asiimwe receiving the Young Accountant of the Year Award, which she picked with her husband, George Egadu.
On getting the award, the excited Asiimwe expressed her gratitude to “all the people who nominated me and all those who helped me get to where I am, especially my director Moses Kasakya.”
Next in queue was ICPAU President Begumisa, who received the Certified Public Accountant of the Year Award.
After the two awards, there was an interlude of dinner, during which singer Irene Ntale entertained the audience as they enjoyed the buffet.
Ntale’s performance was followed by the presentation of the ICPAU Gold Service Awards.
Betty Segumba; Selestino Babungi, the Umeme Managing director; John Muhaise Batalemesa, the CEO Fortune of Africa; and Nerendra A Tucker of A.R.H Tucker and Sons received the awards.
In her speech, Segumba appreciated those who made sure she was nominated, further giving a touching testimony.
“I thank you very much for the nomination for this award, which I didn’t even know existed. In 2010 I had a stroke. I spent in 10 days in comma. I had got friends wherever I was and although I had faith, doctors thought I wouldn’t make it,” she said.
“However, they worked on me till regained consciousness. Sometimes I don’t believe it is me. But it is because of people like you that I have managed to be where I am today.”
Tucker’s award was picked by Joseph Baliddawa of Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
In a teleconferenced statement, Tucker noted how he was “proud to be associated with CPA”, adding that he couldn’t “participate because I was somewhere else, where they couldn’t allow me to travel.”
The other awardee was Gerald Mbalire Kasanya, who has been a member of ICPAU since 1996.
Mbalire was hailed for his outstanding contribution to the institute, for instance, he has helped found a similar body in Rwanda, on top of serving in different other capacities, including at National Drug Authority (NDA).
Speaking at the event, Mbalire commended the ICPAU steering committee for the incredible work they are doing, further calling upon other accountants to join the initiative.
For Batalemesa, he was hailed for training and mentoring several successful accountants both in Kenya and Uganda.
On his part, President Begumisa reminisced about his old days at the university, and also applauded everyone who joined efforts for the success of the event.
“Today is a special day for me, because it is 25 years since I left my Bachelor of Commerce class at campus and it is the same day ICPAU is marking 25 years. I’m so glad that we have made 25 years as ICPAU, and we are growing bigger each year,” he recalled.
“This is a day I have been waiting for. We started the celebrations a month ago in Mbarara, to Gulu then Mbale and now here.”
Begumisa told accountant that the Institute continues to grow in numbers, infrastructure and Revenue, noting that with the current membership of 40,000 – the numbers are projected to grow to 100,000 members in the next five years.
As the guests, headed for the cutting-the-cake part of the event, Cindy Sanyu stormed the stage, firing up revelers to around 10:40, after which the emcee, Samson Sonko officially closed the function.