Plane crash kills Malawi Vice President

LILONGWE, MALAWI – In a heart-wrenching announcement, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera confirmed that Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others were killed in a plane crash near Mzuzu. The small military aircraft was located after an exhaustive search through challenging terrain and thick forests.

President Chakwera, visibly shaken, addressed the nation on state television, conveying the tragic news. “This is an unimaginable loss,” he said. “The wreckage was found near a hill, completely destroyed, and with no survivors.”

The doomed flight included Chilima, 51, former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri, five additional passengers, and three military crew members. They were traveling to Mzuzu for the funeral of a former government minister, with Chilima having just returned from South Korea on Sunday.

The aircraft vanished from radar during a short 45-minute flight from Lilongwe to Mzuzu. Air traffic controllers had instructed the pilot to return to Lilongwe due to severe weather and poor visibility, but communication was lost soon after.

The search operation, involving around 300 police officers, 200 soldiers, and local forest rangers, demonstrated the extensive efforts to find the missing plane. Chilima was serving his second term as vice president, having previously held the position from 2014 to 2019 under former President Peter Mutharika.

Chilima had recently been exonerated of corruption charges, which were dropped last month. He had always maintained his innocence.