Thursday 10/10/2019 @6.6pm – Random Thoughts and Reflections –
Today, I received a call from bayama ba Kanabesa ba Professor Kenneth K Mwenda. As usual, our conversations and interactions since 1986 have been social, jovial, professional, Private, Personal, Confidential, interspersed with light moments of motivation, encouragement and updates on wide ranging topics and subjects. Kutali twafuma. Twalyabuka akamana ifwe. (Via Chester Singing Banjo Song)
After saying our goodbyes, I vividly recalled a similar phone conversation in which 10 years ago, Professor Kenneth K Mwenda encouraged, pushed, motivated me to embark on a certain trajectory in my career path. Uncharted waters then. Read on.
As a result of that phone call, Ten (10) year ago, July 2009 to be specific, I found myself in Cape Town South Africa for the first and last time. The purpose? Sitting for Professional Examinations Professor Kenneth K Mwenda encouraged me to pursue.
The Background. I started working for my 4th Official Employers – Standard Chartered Bank Group based in Zambia on 1st October 2008.
My initial contract negotiated with Standard Chartered Bank had conditional fulfillment clause of passing ACAMS Examinations. Zambia had no Examination Centre then. I decided I would write the Professional Exams in Cape Town in South Africa instead of Botswana or Tanzania which had similar Centers. Zambia had no such Exam Centre then. It was a great excuse to fly to Cape Town using Company per diem and all expenses paid for.
I was booked at Raddison Blue Water Front with windows overlooking the famous Robben Island. Away from home, alone in the middle of the night studying, the fear of failing the Exams in a foreign land after your employers have spent so much money gripped me. Moreover, three of my daughters were scheduled to write primary/elementary and middle and senior secondary school exams respectively that year. The thought of losing the moral authority to urge my children to study hard and pass exams was becoming real. The what if I failed the exams in Cape Town constantly crossed the mind. Many that I know have failed several times before passing this Exam on their 4th attempt. Takwaba ati Mature tawa! Balawa mabo. What with daily social pressures?
On Friday the 10th of July 2009, I earned and received an elite and prestigious Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) designation. I was and still remain the third (3rd) Zambian National to have received this widely recognized CAMS® credential by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists® (ACAMS®), the world’s leading organization of professionals in the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) field based in Miami, Florida – USA.
The 1st and trend setter Zambian to have received the CAMS certification is Professor Kenneth K Mwenda. The 2nd was Dr. John Machayi who was working for Finance Bank then. I was the 3rd and the 4th was Solomon Caleb Ngoma who was Assistant Commissioner at the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of DEC then. It is coincidentaly interesting to note that the 4 above named Zambians happened to have been in the same shoot – intake and outtake at UNZA from 1986 up to their graduation on 15th December 1990 for their respective First Degrees.
For the avoidance of any doubt, the CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist) designation is awarded to professionals who successfully complete a rigorous examination demonstrating their aptitude and expertise, and broad-based knowledge on the challenging topic of international anti-money laundering detection and enforcement.
The examination covers money laundering and terrorist financing methods, the best practices to stop these crimes, the principal legislation in place worldwide, global AML standards and developing defenses for financial institutions to prevent terrorist financing and money laundering. ACAMS headquarters is in Miami, Florida, USA. See link here https://www.acams.org/
Within Standard Chartered Bank Africa, I was the third member of staff to have such a qualification after Stewart Odendaal and Chris Stein. My matrix boss (STEW) as we fondly referred to him was so impressed with me.
My Job description was expanded, my job role extended and portfolio widened. I was promoted to a post of Area Head in charge of Southern and Eastern Africa reporting to Regional Head Financial Crime Risk Compliance for the Middle East and Africa.
Umuntu Kutasha filya. Thanks for your personal motivation Professor Kenneth K Mwenda. Keep on aspiring to Inspire us before we expire. Tuleya tulekula ka. Moral Lesson is Motivation may come anytime in one’s life from anywhere including from Agemates and Intakemates especially those selfless people we all look up to. Thanks 🙏.
Because of you, your personal visit to my office on the infamous 5th Floor of Standard House along Cairo Road in Lusaka, and my extended portfolio, in February 2013, a Press release prepared in Austin, Texas in the USA copied to my Country MD/CEO, Africa Regional and Global Bosses (Bosele – Kopala vibe) went like this; “Kunda Kalaba (CAMS) Earns CFE Credential” – Austin, TX USA – 9 February 2013, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education, is pleased to award Kunda Kalaba of Lusaka in the Republic of Zambia the globally preferred Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. To become a CFE, Kunda Kalaba has met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam administered by the ACFE.
Kalaba has successfully met the ACFE’s character, experience and education requirements for the CFE credential, and has demonstrated knowledge in four areas critical to the fight against fraud: Fraudulent Financial Transactions, Fraud Prevention, and Deterrence, Legal Elements of Fraud and Fraud Investigation.
Kunda Kalaba joins the ranks of business and government professionals worldwide who have also earned the CFE certification. Kunda Kalaba is currently the Area Head – Financial Crime Risk Operations for Southern and East Africa, Country Head Financial Crime Risk for Zambia and Country Money Laundering Prevention Officer (CMLPO).
Again, I was the 3rd Zambian to have been awarded this CFE certification after Roy Sikwibele of The Central Bank of Zambia and Davies Kafwimbi of Zanaco then who encouraged me to go for it. Thanks 🙏 team. I still serve on the World Advisory Body of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE)
For further clarification, Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) have the ability to: examine data and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions; interview suspects to obtain information and confessions; write investigation reports; advise clients as to their findings; testify at trial; understand the law as it relates to fraud and fraud investigations; and identify the underlying factors that motivate individuals to commit fraud. CFEs on six continents have investigated more than 1 million suspected cases of civil and criminal fraud.
The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and a premier provider of anti-fraud training and education. Together with million members, the ACFE is reducing business fraud world-wide and inspiring public confidence in the integrity and objectivity within the profession. Identified as “the premier financial sleuthing organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the ACFE has captured national and international media attention. For more information about the ACFE visit ACFE.com.
As alluded to earlier, some of the important and memorable moments; places I have been privileged to visit, faces I have met, tendencies, personality and characters of different people I have had to encounter, from both the professional and social perspective, looped in sweeping, concise narratives have been as a result of friends, colleagues, family, bosses who have played significant role in my life.
Each of us is a mere wayfarer in the journey of life, like everyone else I am indebted to all the people I have had to meet along the way, people whose input has had a bearing, on my progress as a person and in my professional life. Above all else is the debt of gratitude I owe to certain people whose love, understanding, empathy and encouraging attitude no amount or manner of citation can repay. Umutu Kutasha. Thanks so very much and God bless you all the more. KEKK 2019.The ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training education and certification.About This WebsiteACFE.COMAssociation of Certified Fraud ExaminersThe ACFE is the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and premier provider of anti-fraud training education and certification.