PKF Uganda managing partner Charles Oguttu has dismissed claims that the firm was on the verge of collapse following a dispute between auditors.
Local publication New Vision reported that after PKF Uganda secured a deal to audit Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) auditors disagreed on how to share the proceedings. New vision stated that Oguttu had filed a complaint to local police against auditors Humphrey Byakwaga and Stephen Wasike for alleged threats to use poison and witchcraft.
The article also mentioned unconfirmed reports that officials at URC had asked for sh100m ($27,323) kickback on the sh481m ($131,423.63) deal, on which PKF staff also disagreed.
However Oguttu told International Accounting Bulletin that the New Vision article was inaccurate and highly sensational. He told International Accounting Bulletin that Byakwaga, an audit manager, and Wasike, an auditor, were discharged following disciplinary proceedings following ethical issues.
"This article came out saying that it is tearing the firm apart," he said. "Those are staff and not partners and it is two staff in a firm that has around 120 staff."
He acknowledged that he received threats via email and had informed the police.
Regarding the kick back allegation, Oguttu said that this was a part of the story whose origin is not certain. "But as far as we are concerned there is no kickback with URC," Oguttu said.
However PKF Uganda has terminated the contract with URC, in what seems to be a bid to maintain the firm’s reputation.
A representative of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda, which regulates the profession, said: "The Council is well appraised with this development. The allegations are being looked at by the Institute’s disciplinary and ethics committee who will make appropriate recommendations to the Council."
At the time of publication PKF International had not replied to our enquiry and URC couldn’t be contacted.
Article amended 09/09/2015, the original article suggested that the kickback allegation came from Byakwaga and Wasike asking for money following their dismissal, which Oguttu felt he had been misquoted.