Malawi Vice President Chilima killed in plane crash

Chilima along with 9 others on board an aircraft went missing on Monday

Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima | AFP Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima | AFP

Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others on board an aircraft that went missing on Monday were killed in a plane crash. President Lazarus Chakwera confirmed Chilima's death on Tuesday. The wreckage of the plane was located by the search team in a mountainous area in the north of the country.

It is assumed that poor visibility led to the crash. The military aircraft had left Lilongwe at 09:17 am and was scheduled to land at Mzuzu airport at 10:02 am. Reportedly, due to unfavourable weather conditions, the aircraft was asked to return to the capital but went off the radar. 

The aircraft was described as a small, propeller-driven plane operated by the Malawian armed forces. Chakwera said that the air traffic controllers told the plane not to attempt a landing at Mzuzu's airport due to bad weather. 

"I'm deeply saddened, I'm sorry to inform you all that it has turn out to be a terrible tragedy. The search and rescue team has found the aircraft near a hill... they have found it completely destroyed with no survivors," said Chakwera. 

While addressing the nation, Chakwera also said that the crash occurred in a mountainous part of the Chikangawa Forest. 

A massive search operation was launched after the VP's aircraft went missing. Around 600 personnel, including soldiers, police officers and forest rangers had been searching for the plane in the Viphya Mountains area, where it went missing. 

Chilima was a potential presidential candidate in the upcoming elections in the country next year. He was arrested in 2022 over graft allegations, however, the charges were dropped after the case was withdrawn by the concerned party.


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