Four Mourners Killed, Twelve Injured in Tragic Accident During Malawi VP’s Funeral Procession

A tragic accident during the funeral procession of the late Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima claimed the lives of four people, including a pregnant woman, and injured twelve others on Sunday night. The incident occurred when a vehicle attempting to avoid the convoy carrying the vice president’s body struck a group of mourners.

The accident happened amidst clashes between local people, police, and soldiers escorting the funeral convoy from the capital, Lilongwe, to Mr Chilima’s home village for burial. Witnesses reported that as the procession passed through areas close to the vice president’s home, some people began throwing stones at government vehicles and officials. In the commotion, a privately owned vehicle swerved to avoid the convoy, veering off the road and hitting the mourners.

Mr Chilima’s UTM party spokesman, Felix Njawala, told AFP that there was tension along the route as mourners demanded the procession stop so they could view the coffin. The party has condemned the violence and urged supporters to refrain from further destructive acts, emphasizing Mr Chilima’s advocacy for peace.

The 51-year-old vice-president, who died in a plane crash a week ago, was considered a breath of fresh air in Malawian politics and had a special connection with the youth. His party formed a coalition government with President Chakwera’s party after winning the 2020 elections as alliance partners. Despite facing corruption charges in 2022, which were later dropped, Mr Chilima maintained his innocence.

President Chakwera has vowed to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the plane crash that claimed Mr Chilima’s life.