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Mbumba mourns Malawian VP

Written by on June 12, 2024

President Nangolo Mbumba has extended a message of condolences to his Malawian counterpart, President Lazarus Chakwera, following the death of vice president Saulos Chilima in a plane crash on Monday.

Chilima’s death and that of eight others who included the country’s former first lady was announced today on Malawian television after a search and rescue effort which commenced Monday morning when the plane disappeared.

“It is with profound shock and sadness that I have learned about the unfortunate incident involving a Malawi Defence Force aircraft crash, which led to the demise of Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, the former First Lady of Malawi Madame Shanil Dzimbiri and other Malawian nationals.”

Mbumba said Namibia stands in solidarity with the people of Malawi, adding that he was confident that they will rise from this terrible ordeal.

Chilima died when a military plane crashed after going missing on Monday morning.

The vice president and nine other people were on the way to the funeral of the country’s attorney general, Malawi’s president Lazarus Chakwera announced yesterday.

Chakwera said the plane was completely destroyed with no survivors.

“Words cannot describe how heartbreaking this is and I can only imagine how much pain and anguish you all must be feeling at this time, as well as how much pain and anguish you all will be feeling in the coming days and weeks as we mourn this terrible loss,” he told the media.

Chakwera described the crash as a terrible tragedy.

“The search and rescue team has found the aircraft near a hill in the Chikangawa Forest and they found it completely destroyed, with no survivors, as all passengers on board were killed on impact,” he said.

The plane, which was flying in bad weather, failed to land at Mzuzu after it departed from the Kamuzu International Airport a few minutes prior.

Chakwera said Malawi aviation authorities advised the aircraft to return to Lilongwe, but they soon lost contact with the aircraft around the Mzuzu area.

This prompted a search and rescue effort which led to the discovery of the remains of those on board.

Chilima was born on 12 February 1973 and was Malawi’s vice president. He rose to the position on 28 June 2020 after a landslide victory of the Chakwera-led Tonse alliance. Before that, he was the country’s economic planning and development minister, as well as head of public sector reforms under former president Peter Mutharika.

Prior to his political career, he served in leadership positions in a range of multinational companies like Unilever, Coca-Cola and Airtel Malawi.

Chilima also battled corruption allegations after being charged with receiving kickbacks for awarding government tenders, however, the charges were dropped this year.

The post Mbumba mourns Malawian VP appeared first on The Namibian.

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