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Malawi's President Confirms Death Of VP Chilima, Nine Others

1 month agoTue, 11 Jun 2024 11:59:11 GMT
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Malawi's President Confirms Death Of VP Chilima, Nine Others

Malawian Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine other people have been confirmed dead after a Defence Forces Aircraft they were travelling on crashed in the Chikangawa Forest on Monday morning.

Chilima, former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri, Lukas Kapheni, Chisomo Chimaneni, Gloria Mtukule, Dan Kanyemba and Abdul Lapukeni, as well as Colonel Sambalopa, Major Flora Selemani and Major Aidin from MDF, who were operating the plane, perished when the aircraft came down while en route to Lilongwe, the capital.

In a statement issued this Tuesday, the Malawian Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Colleen Zamba confirmed the tragedy. He said:

The Office of the President and Cabinet wishes to inform the general public that the search and rescue operation for the Malawi Defense Force Aircraft that went missing on Monday, 10th June 2024, has regretfully ended in tragedy.

The aircraft, which was carrying the Vice President, the Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, and nine others, was found this morning in the Chikangawa forest. Unfortunately, all on board have perished in the crash.

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The search and rescue operation, which was launched immediately after the aircraft went off the radar, has been conducted by various agencies, including the Malawi Defense Force, the Police Service, and the Department of Civil Aviation.

His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, has been informed of the tragic outcome and has expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the Vice President and all those who have lost their lives in this tragic incident.

The President has declared a national day of mourning and has ordered that all flags fly at half-mast from today until the day of the funeral.

The Office of the President and Cabinet will provide further updates as more information becomes available.

Addressing the nation late on Monday night, President Chakwera said the plane landed at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) at 7:05 AM from Mzuzu to pick up Chilima who was to attend the funeral ceremony of the late Ralph Kasambara, a lawyer who also served as Attorney General and Justice Minister.

The plane left KIA at 9:17 am with Chilima and nine other people and was expected to touch down at Mzuzu International Airport at 10:02 AM.

He said the plane could not land in Mzuzu because of bad weather. He added, ÔÇťHowever they lost contact with the plane after its return, on its way to Lilongwe.ÔÇŁ

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