Wreckage of Malawian Vice President’s Plane Found with No Survivors

Lilongwe, Malawi – June 12, 2024: President Lazarus Chakwera has confirmed that the wreckage of a plane carrying Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima has been discovered with no survivors. The aircraft, which disappeared from radar during a domestic flight on Monday morning, was found in Chikangawa Forest after a prolonged search.

The military aircraft, which was transporting Vice President Chilima and nine others, encountered severe weather conditions, leading to its tragic crash. President Chakwera announced the devastating news during a briefing on Tuesday, stating that the rescue operation had concluded and the aircraft was found completely destroyed.

“I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform Malawians of this terrible tragedy,” said President Chakwera. He described Vice President Chilima as a “good man,” “devoted father,” and “formidable VP,” highlighting the profound loss for the nation.

The vice president, aged 51, was en route to attend the burial of former government minister Ralph Kasambara. The plane, which also carried former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri, took off from Lilongwe but was unable to reach its destination in Mzuzu due to poor visibility.

The remains of Dr. Chilima and the other victims are being transported back to Lilongwe, with funeral arrangements to be announced soon. Dr. Chilima, who had served as vice president since 2014, was a beloved figure, especially among the youth. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and their two children, Sean and Elizabeth.

Dr. Chilima’s political career had its challenges; he was charged in 2022 with accepting bribes for government contracts but was exonerated last month. President Chakwera reflected on their partnership, emphasizing the honor of working with Chilima, despite their different political backgrounds.

This tragic incident marks a somber moment for Malawi, underscoring the unpredictable and often perilous nature of political service.

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