Malawi vice-president killed in plane crash after jet 'went off radar'

Malawi vice-president killed in plane crash after jet 'went off radar'

Malawi's Vice President, Saulos Klaus Chilima attends a golf tournament

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 11/06/2024

- 12:07

Updated: 11/06/2024

- 12:56

Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima was killed in the crash alongside nine others

Malawi's Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has been killed in a plane crash.

President Lazarus Chakwera said that the aircraft carrying Chilima, 51, left the capital Lilongweon Monday but was unable to land at Mzuzu airport as scheduled at 10:02 a.m. due to poor visibility.

The President has now confirmed that the vice president and nine others have been killed in the crash.

The flight was ordered to return to the capital but went off the radar and aviation authorities could not make contact with it.

Malawi's Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima


President Lazarus Chakwera

President Lazarus Chakwera holds a press conference


President Chakwera said: "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 in an address to the nation that the crash site was in a mountainous part of the Chikangawa Forest.

Chilima, seen as a potential candidate in next year's presidential election, was arrested in 2022 over graft allegations.

However, a Malawi court dropped the charges against him last month after the director of public prosecutions filed a notice for the case to be discontinued. Chilima had denied wrongdoing.


A paper

Malawian searchers found the wreckage of a plane that was carrying Vice President Saulos Chilim


Chilima was born on February 12 1973 in Ntcheu district in central Malawi. Before he became vice-president in 2014, he was the managing director of the country's leading telecommunications firm Airtel Malawi.

He was chosen by former President Peter Mutharika. However, the two would fall out after Chilima accused the government of not doing enough to fight corruption and protecting some people.

He defied calls to resign despite publicly challenging the government he was in, later forming his own political party, the United Transformation Movement (UTM). The party campaigned for radical change and reform in the country.

He leaves behind his wife Mary and two children, Sean and Elizabeth.

Saulos Chilima

Vice President Saulos Chilima


President Chakwera confirmed the military is transporting the remains of the Vice President and the other victims to Lilongwe.

He adding that funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

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