Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima and Nine Others Killed in Plane Crash

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima, aged 51, and nine other individuals lost their lives when the small military aircraft they were traveling in crashed in a mountainous area near Mzuzu, in the north of the country. President Lazarus Chakwera announced the discovery of the wreckage after an extensive search operation lasting more than 24 hours in dense forests and hilly terrain. The plane had been “destroyed,” and all on board were killed on impact.

The group was en route to attend a former government minister’s funeral when air traffic controllers advised against attempting a landing at Mzuzu’s airport due to inclement weather and poor visibility. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after being asked to return to Lilongwe. The wreckage was eventually located in the Chikangawa Forest, south of Mzuzu.

Chilima and Chakwera had formed an unlikely alliance, challenging election results in court and winning the rerun election in 2019. However, recent tensions have emerged between the two leaders. Chilima had also faced corruption charges, which were dropped last month.

The search for the plane involved international assistance from the U.S., the U.K., Norway, and Israel, as well as neighboring countries Zambia and Tanzania. Malawi, one of the world’s poorest nations, is now mourning the loss of its vice president and the other victims of this tragic accident.