Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others have been confirmed dead in a plane crash.  who was he?  – First position
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Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others have been confirmed dead in a plane crash. who was he? – First position

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others have been confirmed dead following the crash of a military plane. The incident occurred on June 10, 2024, leading to an intense search operation that ultimately resulted in the confirmation of the deaths of all those on board the aircraft.

The Malawian military earlier said the plane may have crashed in dense forest, but it had not yet been found. According to Reuterssenior military official Paul Valentino Phiri told reporters that search and rescue operations had been hampered by fog around the Chikangawa forest, which affected visibility.

MalawiPresident Lazarus Chakwera confirmed the death of Chilima and his entourage during an address to the nation on Tuesday.

Everything you need to know about the accident

On June 10, 2024, the Malawi Defense Force plane carrying Chilima, along with nine others, failed to land at Mzuzu International Airport as planned. The plane took off from Lilongwe at 9:17 a.m. and was scheduled to land at 10:02 a.m. However, due to unfavorable weather conditions, the plane attempted to turn around without landing. Moments later, air traffic control lost contact and the plane disappeared from radar.

Telecommunications towers then traced the last known position of the plane within a 10 kilometer radius within one of the plantations. This area has become the focal point for search and rescue operations.

Chakwera, addressing the nation on state television, expressed his concern and commitment: “I know this is a heartbreaking situation. I know we are all scared and worried. I too am worried. But I want to assure you that I will spare no available resource in finding this plane. And I hold on to every fiber of hope that we will find survivors.

Despite international assistance from the United States, United Kingdom, Norway and Israel, the search ended tragically. A press release from the Office of the President and Cabinet confirmed: “The plane, which was carrying the Vice President, the Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, and nine others, was found this morning in Chikangawa Forest. Unfortunately, all passengers died in the accident. »

This unfortunate leak included not only Chilima but also notable figures such as former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri.

Chakwera revealed that due to poor visibility and bad weather, the pilot attempted to return to Lilongwe without landing at Mzuzu. This decision led to the plane going off radar, its last known position being identified in a forest area.

Malawi declares national mourning

President Chakwera declared a day of national mourning and ordered all flags to fly at half-mast until the day of the funeral. He expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased: “This is a day of great sadness for our nation. We mourn the loss of our vice president, a great leader, and all those who were on board.

Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Colleen Zamba, reiterated the President’s sentiments in an official statement: “The Office of the President and Cabinet wishes to inform the general public that the search and rescue operation of the US forces aircraft of Malawi’s defense team disappeared on Monday, June 10, 2024, unfortunately ended in tragedy. The President expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the Vice President and all those who lost their lives in this tragic incident.

Who was Saulos Chilima?

Saulos Klaus Chilima, born February 12, 1973, was a prominent Malawian politician and business executive. Before entering politics, Chilima had a successful career in the private sector, holding senior positions at Unilever, Coca-Cola and Airtel Malawi. He moved into politics and became vice president in June 2020 after a successful campaign alongside Chakwera, according to his profile on the Malawi government website.

Chilima’s education includes a Ph.D. in Knowledge Management from the University of Bolton in the United Kingdom, awarded in August 2015. Known for his commitment to public service and development, Chilima was a devout Roman Catholic and was married to Mary Chibambo. The couple had two children, Sean and Elizabeth.

His political journey has been marked by his dedication to the transformation of Malawi. As Vice President, Chilima was instrumental in various development projects and policy reforms aimed at improving the lives of Malawians.

With the contribution of agencies

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