Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima, Nine Others Killed in Plane Crash

Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi, his wife and eight others died in a tragic plane crash near the Chikangawa mountain range, confirmed President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday.

The President expressed his deep sorrow over the incident, stating that the search and rescue team found the aircraft near a hill, completely destroyed with no survivors.

Despite the aircraft’s solid track record and the crew’s experience, something went terribly wrong on its return flight to Lilongwe, resulting in the devastating crash. It was scheduled to land at Mzuzu airport at 10:02 a.m., but poor weather and visibility conditions prevented the landing.

Air traffic officials reported that due to poor visibility, the plane couldn’t land at Mzuzu airport, located about 200 miles north of Lilongwe. The pilot was advised to head to the capital when the flight vanished. The plane was ordered to return to Lilongwe, but it went off the radar, and aviation authorities lost contact with it. President Chakwera confirmed that all passengers were killed on impact and that the military was transporting their remains back to the capital.

Following the plane’s disappearance on Monday, several countries, including the United States, offered technological assistance to Malawi for the search operations.

Chilima, 51, was among the top potential presidential candidates for Malawi’s 2025 elections. He was arrested in 2022 on corruption allegations, with reports suggesting he had accepted kickbacks from a businessman for government contracts. However, Chilima denied these charges, which were eventually dropped by the national prosecutor in May this year, leading to the case’s discontinuation.

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