Malawi VP Chilima dies in plane crash

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others, aboard a military aircraft that disappeared on Monday, were confirmed dead in a plane crash, President Lazarus Chakwera announced on Tuesday.

The aircraft, carrying 51-year-old Chilima, departed from the capital Lilongwe at 09:17 a.m. (0717 GMT) but failed to land at Mzuzu airport as scheduled at 10:02 a.m. due to poor visibility.

Despite being instructed to return to the capital, the aircraft lost contact with aviation authorities and vanished from radar.

“I’m deeply saddened, I’m sorry to inform you all that it has turn out to be a terrible tragedy. The search and rescue team has found the aircraft near a hill… they have found it completely destroyed with no survivors,” Chakwera, said.

The crash site, according to Chakwera’s address to the nation, was in a mountainous area within the Chikangawa Forest.

Chilima, considered a potential candidate in the upcoming presidential election, faced arrest in 2022 on corruption charges. However, last month, a Malawi court dismissed the charges after the director of public prosecutions filed for the case to be dropped. Chilima has consistently maintained his innocence.

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