Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima Missing: Aircraft Disappears En Route to Funeral

Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima Missing: Aircraft Disappears En Route to Funeral


In a concerning turn of events, an aircraft carrying Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, along with nine other individuals, has gone missing. The flight, operated by the Malawi Defense Force, departed from the capital city of Lilongwe on Monday morning but failed to reach its scheduled destination at Mzuzu International Airport.

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The Disappearance:Details of the Missing Aircraft

President Lazarus Chakwera addressed the nation, revealing that adverse weather conditions led to the aircraft’s inability to land, prompting the pilot to attempt a return. However, shortly after, the plane disappeared from radar, leaving authorities unable to establish communication.



President’s Response:Search and Rescue Efforts Initiated

Responding swiftly to the crisis, President Chakwera initiated a comprehensive search and rescue operation, involving both national and regional agencies. Despite the challenges posed by rugged terrain and dense forests in Malawi’s north, efforts to locate the missing aircraft have been relentless. He said addressing the nation, “Soldiers are still on the ground carrying out the search and I have given strict orders that the operation should continue until the plane is found,” he said, adding that it was a “heart-breaking situation”.

“I know that we are all frightened and concerned – I too am concerned. But I want to assure you that I am sparing no available resource to find that plane and I am holding onto every fibre of hope that we will find survivors.” he added.

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Vice President Saulos Chilima: Background and Current Situation

The missing Vice President, Saulos Chilima, has been a prominent figure in Malawi’s political landscape for a decade. He was 51 years old and was married having two children. He had a PhD in Knowledge Management. Previously involved in telecommunications, Chilima’s career transitioned into politics, culminating in his role as Vice President. However, his tenure has not been without controversy, as he faced corruption allegations in 2022. Despite the subsequent dropping of charges, these events have left a mark on Malawi’s political sphere.


Search Operation: Intensive Efforts to Locate the Aircraft

As the search operation continues, authorities remain hopeful yet vigilant. The confirmation of the aircraft’s fate remains paramount, offering closure to the nation amidst this tragic ordeal. The Malawian government is taking help to neighbouring countries and international partners for assistance, due to the urgency and gravity of the situation. Mr Kunkuyu said: “The airport he was to land, which is in the northern part of Mzuzu, was the closest to where the funeral was taking place.”



In the wake of this crisis, Malawi mourns the loss of Vice President Saulos Chilima and the other passengers aboard the ill-fated flight. The aftermath of this incident will undoubtedly leave a large impact on the nation, questioning the safety and security in air travel.


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