BREAKING: Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima dies in plane crash

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In a tragic turn of events, Malawian search teams have discovered the wreckage of a plane that was carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others.

The aircraft went missing on Monday during inclement weather conditions, according to a military source.

The military plane, which was carrying the 51-year-old Vice President along with other passengers, disappeared after failing to land in the northern city of Mzuzu due to poor visibility.

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The aircraft was instructed to return to the capital, Lilongwe, but unfortunately, it crashed with no survivors found among the wreckage.

Photographs provided by a member of the military rescue team to AFP show army personnel on a foggy slope near debris identified as the Malawi Army Air Wing Dornier 228-202K aircraft. The discovery has left the nation in mourning.

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President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to address the nation regarding the incident. The president has yet to confirm the details about potential survivors officially, though initial reports indicate that there were none.

Rescue efforts had been concentrated in a fog-covered forest south of Mzuzu, following the signal from the last transmission tower the plane contacted before it vanished. General Paul Valentino Phiri, the army commander, revealed that neighboring countries had joined the search, providing helicopters and drones to aid the effort.

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The plane departed from Lilongwe around 9:00 am local time (0700 GMT) on Monday, heading to Mzuzu to attend the funeral of a former cabinet minister, a journey of approximately 370 kilometers (230 miles). Among the passengers was also Malawi’s former first lady, Shanil Dzimbiri.

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Vice President Chilima, first elected in 2014, was a well-loved and charismatic figure in Malawi, especially admired by the youth for his stern yet inspirational demeanor. His career faced challenges in 2022 when he was arrested and charged with corruption in a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman.

However, last month, a Malawian court dismissed the charges, and Chilima had recently resumed his official duties.

This tragic accident has left a profound impact on the nation, as Malawians mourn the loss of a leader who played a significant role in the country’s political landscape.

 

(AFP)

 

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