Malawi Vice President Killed In Plane Crash Along With 9 Other Passengers

In an address to the nation today, President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi declared that Vice President Saulos Chilima was killed in a plane crash along with nine other passengers.

Malawi Vice President Killed In Plane Crash Along With 9 Other Passengers 1

President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi declared on Tuesday that Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine other passengers had perished in an aircraft accident.

After the plane failed to make a landing at Mzuzu International Airport, located roughly 380 kilometers (240 miles) north of the capital Lilongwe, it vanished from sight. In a speech to the country, Chakwera announced the location of the plane’s wreckage.

“The search and rescue operation I ordered to find the missing plane that carried our vice president and nine others has been completed. The plane has been found. And I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you that it has turned out to be a tragedy,” Chakwera said.

The head of Malawi said that the plane was discovered “destroyed” next to a hill in the northern Malawian Chikangawa Forest, saying, “Words cannot describe how heartbreaking this is.”

“A good man, a devoted father and husband, (and) a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction,” was how Chakwera honored his deputy.

In his speech from the capital of Malawi, Chakwera stated, “His passing is a terrible loss to his wife, Mary, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the cabinet, and to all of us as a nation.” The other passengers on board were likewise mourned by the president.

The president of Malawi emphasized the terrible nature of the mishap by informing reporters that he had taken the same flight on another occasion.

“Yet despite the track record of the aircraft and the experience of the crew, something terrible went wrong with that aircraft on its flight back to Lilongwe,” he added.

The president informed reporters on Monday night that due to low visibility, air traffic control had ordered the vice president’s jet not to attempt a landing and to return to the capital. Shortly afterward, the authorities initiated a search and rescue mission after losing communication with the aircraft.

Malawi Vice President Killed In Plane Crash Along With 9 Other Passengers 2
Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima is seen campaigning in 2019. Gianluigi Gurcia/AFP/Getty Images

The Malawi Defence Force announced earlier on Tuesday that it has sent out drones and at least 200 soldiers to hunt for the jet in the Chikangawa Forest Reserve, which is where the last signals indicating its whereabouts were received.

Bad weather, according to Force Commander Paul Valentino Phiri, has delayed rescue operations.

According to Chakwera, the vice president and the other nine fatalities will all be buried in “a dignified manner,” and plans are in place to have their remains transported to the capital.

Chilima, 51, returned to Malawi on June 6th, having spent the previous week in Seoul attending the Korea-Africa Summit. Before taking office as vice president again in 2020, he originally assisted outgoing President Peter Mutharika as his deputy from 2014 to 2019. Economist Chilima was the first Malawian to oversee Airtel Malawi, a telecommunications business.

“I consider it one of the greatest honors of my life to have had him as my deputy and counselor for the past four years,” President Chakwera said.

Chilima leaves behind his spouse Mary and their two kids.

Earlier today, GreatGameIndia reported that a military plane carrying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima has gone missing, failing to arrive at Mzuzu International Airport.

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