Malawi Mourns VP Chilima, Plane Crash Victims

Malawi Military Aircraft Carrying Vice President Still Missing.
Malawi Military Aircraft Carrying Vice President Still Missing.

Malawi has officially entered a 21-day period of national mourning in tribute to the recently deceased Vice-President Saulos Chilima and nine others who tragically lost their lives in a plane crash this Monday. The ill-fated aircraft was headed towards Mzuzu in the northern province when it vanished from airport radars amidst adverse weather conditions, leading to a tragic crash in the dense forests and rugged terrain near Mzuzu.

This period of mourning, which stretches from Tuesday, June 11, to Monday, July 1, was declared by the cabinet through an official announcement. During this solemn time, President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered that all flags across the nation be flown at half-mast, with further announcements regarding the memorial services for the victims to follow.

The remains of Chilima, alongside those of the other victims, have been transported to the capital, Lilongwe, by the Malawi Defence Forces. A somber gathering, including President Chakwera, cabinet ministers, and various aides, was held at Kamuzu International Airport on Tuesday evening to honor their return.

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The tragic incident has garnered international attention, with leaders worldwide extending their sympathies to the families of the deceased and the Malawian government. Among them, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu conveyed his condolences to President Chakwera and the Malawian populace for the profound loss suffered.

Additionally, the African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Mahamat, expressed his deep sorrow upon confirmation that the search and rescue operation for the missing aircraft yielded no survivors. Mahamat reiterated the African Union’s unwavering support and solidarity with President Chakwera, the Malawian government, and its people during this harrowing period, while offering prayers for the departed souls.

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