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Aircraft Carrying Malawi’s Vice President Goes Missing

AN aircraft carrying Malawi’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima and nine others has gone missing, according to a statement from the president’s office.

The Malawi Defence Force aircraft ‘went off the radar’ after departing from the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday morning. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Mzuzu International Airport in the north of the country just after 10:00 local time (09:00 BST). Aviation officials lost contact with the aircraft shortly after take-off, prompting President Lazarus Chakwera to order a search and rescue operation.


Upon learning of the incident from the Defence Force’s commander, President Chakwera cancelled his scheduled flight to the Bahamas, which was set for Monday evening. ‘The public will be updated on any developments as facts are established,’ stated the president’s office.

General Valentino Phiri informed President Chakwera that the reason for the aircraft’s disappearance is still unknown. Malawi’s information minister, Moses Kunkuyu, added that efforts to find the aircraft are ‘intensive.’

Vice-President Chilima was en route to represent the government at the burial of former cabinet minister Ralph Kasambara, who passed away three days prior. ‘The airport he was to land at, in the northern part of Mzuzu, was the closest to where the funeral was taking place,’ said Kunkuyu.

In 2022, Vice-President Chilima was arrested on allegations of accepting money in exchange for awarding government contracts. Last month, a court dropped the charges without providing reasons for the decision.

As the search and rescue operation continues, the nation waits anxiously for updates on the whereabouts of Vice-President Chilima and the others on board.

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