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Malawi’s VP Saulos Chilima, Nine Others Confirmed Dead In Plane Crash

Malawi’s VP Chilima was heading to represent the government at former minister Ralph Kasambara’s burial, who died four days ago.

In a recent development, Malawi’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima has been confirmed dead as the wreck of a military aircraft carrying him and nine others was found with no survivors.

The plane disappeared from airport radars on Monday morning while flying within the country. The aircraft encountered severe weather conditions, which contributed to its disappearance. A diligent search operation was also conducted by soldiers in the Chikangawa Forest, where the plane was ultimately located.

In a somber news briefing on Tuesday, President Chakwera shared the tragic news with the nation. “I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform Malawians of this terrible tragedy,” he said, revealing that the Malawi Defence Force commander had informed him of the completion of the search and rescue operation.

The 51-years Old VP Chilima, and President Chakwera were from different political parties but had formed an alliance during the 2020 elections. Chilima had served as vice-president since 2014 and was known for his popularity, especially among the youth, according to the AFP news agency.

Chilima was en route to represent the government at the burial of former government minister Ralph Kasambara, who passed away four days ago. Also on the ill-fated flight was former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri. The flight, which took off from the capital city Lilongwe, was destined for Mzuzu in the north but was turned back due to poor visibility.

The nation mourns the loss of Vice-President Chilima, who leaves behind a legacy of service and dedication to the people of Malawi.

Despite facing legal challenges in 2022, when he was arrested and charged with accepting money in exchange for awarding government contracts, the charges were dropped last month without explanation. Chilima is survived by his wife and two children.

Chioma Kalu

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