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Information reaching the executive office of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA based in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast indicated that Search and rescue operations are ongoing in Malawi to recover the aircraft carrying Malawi’s vice president and nine others after the plane went missing on Monday, June 10.

The military aircraft carrying Mr. Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine others failed to make a landing Monday morning, according to a statement from the Secretary to the president and cabinet, Colleen Zamba.

“All efforts by aviation authorities to contact the Aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far,” she said.

Ms. Zamba further said, “As such, the Commander of the Malawi Defense Force, General Valentino Phiri, has since informed His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera of the incident, and the President has since canceled his scheduled departure for the Bahamas and ordered all regional and national agencies to conduct an immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft.” She said the public will be updated on any situation developments as facts are established.

In an interview with ACI Africa Tuesday, June 11, made privy to the Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA based in the country’s capital Lilongwe, the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Fr. Valeriano Mtseka said since the news broke out about the missing aircraft, “Nothing new because the search is still going on”. Fr. Mtseka described the VP as a “devout Catholic.”

Following the incident, Malawians on social media have been praying for the safety of the vice president and the other nine.

“Praying for Saulos Klaus Chilima, vice president of Malawi whose plane had gone missing. It was scheduled to land at 10:10 am but this is already 4:29 pm,” Fr. Edmond Nyoka said in a tweet.

He said the missing vice president is “a very devout Catholic who attended the Holy Mass daily. Praying for his wife to be strong at this moment.”

Born in February 1973, Dr. Chilima is a Ngoni from Ntcheu District in Central Malawi. He is married to Mary and together they have two children. Dr. Chilima is a Roman Catholic with leadership positions in the church.

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MALAWI VICE PRESIDENT DR. SAULOS CHILIMA KILLED IN PLANE CRASH WITH WIFE, 8 OTHERS.

According to Sarah Carter, writing from Johannesburg said that Malawi Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima has been killed in a plane crash with his wife, and 8 others. The Vice President of Malawi, Dr. Saulos Chilima, and 9 other people including his wife, were killed when the plane they were travelling in crashed in the Chikangawa mountain range, the government said Tuesday. President Lazarus Chakwera declared Tuesday a National Day of Mourning.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning in a statement by the Office of the President and Cabinet, which said, “Unfortunately, all on board have perished in the crash,” which happened Monday morning after the military aircraft took off from the country’s capital Lilongwe.

Chilima and the other passengers had been headed to attend the funeral of the country’s former attorney general when their plane dropped off the radar. Air traffic officials said the plane had been unable to land at Mzuzu airport, about 200 miles north of the capital, due to poor visibility, and the pilot had been advised to return to Lilongwe when the flight disappeared.

Malawi-Vice-President-Missing-Plane

A military plane carrying the Chilimas and 8 others crashed on June 10, 2024, killing everyone on the aircraft, Malawi’s government said. Chilima, 51, had been seen in Malawi as a possible contender for next year’s presidential election.

A somewhat controversial figure, he had been arrested in 2022 on graft allegations, amid reports that he had received kickbacks from a businessman for government contracts. Chilima consistently denied the charges until last month, when they were dropped by the national prosecutor, who filed a notice for the discontinuation of the case.

In a televised national address Monday night, Chawera told the nation that the search and rescue operation would continue until Chilima’s plane was found. “I know this is a heartbreaking situation,” he said, “and we are all frightened and concerned.” Several countries including the United States provided technological support in the search operation.

In a statement posted Tuesday morning on social media, the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe said it was “deeply concerned by the news of the crash” and added an offer of “all available assistance including a Defense C-12 aircraft.”