Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Search continues for missing aircraft carrying Malawi vice president

Search continues for missing aircraft carrying Malawi vice president
Malawi’s Vice-President, Saulos Chilima. (Photo: Godfrey M Chikumbi / Facebook)

BLANTYRE, Malawi, June 10 (Reuters) - Search and rescue operations will continue until the missing aircraft carrying Malawi's vice president, Saulos Klaus Chilima, is found, the southern African nation's president said late on Monday.

By Frank Phiri

Chilima, 51, was aboard a military aircraft with nine others that left Lilongwe, the capital, at 09:17 a.m. (0717 GMT), Malawi‘s Office of the President and Cabinet said in an earlier statement.

It said efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar had failed. The plane had been scheduled to land at Mzuzu Airport at 10:02 a.m.

The plane was unable to land at the airport due to poor visibility and was ordered to return to the capital, President Lazarus Chakwera said in a televised address to the nation.

“I’m holding on to every fibre of hope that we’ll find survivors,” he said, adding that the search area was concentrated around a 10 km (6 mile) radius in a forest reserve.

“I have given strict orders that the operation should continue until the plane is found.”

He said Malawi had reached out to neighbouring countries, and the U.S., Britain, Norway and the Israeli governments for support in the rescue efforts.

Chilima, seen as a potential candidate in next year’s presidential election, was arrested in 2022 over graft allegations.

However, a Malawi court dropped the corruption charges against him last month after the director of public prosecutions filed a notice for the case to be discontinued. Chilima has denied any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Frank Phiri in Blantyre; additional reporting by Mrinmay Dey; Writing by Bhargav Acharya; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rama Chandra says:

    Why are so many famous people killed in plane crashes? Are private jets inherently unreliable? Are they flown badly? Do they take more risks?

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.