NEWS

Malawian Vice President Dies In A Plane

“Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima Dies In A Plane Crash As Rescue Operation Concludes”

Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima died, over 24 hours after his plane went missing off the radar after taking off in Malawi.

Unverified pictures of the wreckage went viral online, showing the aircraft number announced by President Lazarus Chakwera last night. Reports suggest that there are no survivors from the plane.

The aircraft came down in the foggy terrains of Chikangawa Forest, ravaged by violent winds.
The military aircraft departed from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, and failed to land at Mzuzu International Airport as scheduled on Monday morning.

On board were Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and nine others, including Shanil Muluzi, the ex-wife of former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi. The aircraft lost contact with aviation authorities nearly an hour after takeoff.

Dr. Chilima was en route to Mzuzu to attend the burial of former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara in Nkhata Bay. He had recently returned from South Korea, where he represented President Lazarus Chakwera at the Korea-Africa summit. Chilima planned to be back in Lilongwe by 5 PM to send off President Chakwera, who was set to depart for The Bahamas and Switzerland.

At approximately 10:50 AM, ground control contacted the plane, advising the crew to return to base due to poor weather conditions in Mzuzu. This was the last communication received from the aircraft. Reports indicate that the plane, a Dornier 228, was an ageing transport aircraft for the Malawian Defence Forces, long overdue for retirement.

Chilima’s wife, Mary, was initially supposed to accompany him but cancelled at the last minute due to examinations.

Several teams joined the search and rescue operation, including a drone team from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), which departed from Thyolo late at night. The US government has also dispatched a search team from one of its African bases.

Local media reported that some residents claimed to have seen an aircraft descending into the forest area.

Our condolences to the victim’s families and the people of Malawi.