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The vice president of Malawi and nine others died in a plane crash

Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and nine other people died when the military plane they were traveling in crashed, the country’s president Lazarus Chakwera said.

Yesterday, a plane carrying Chilima, seen as a potential candidate in next year’s presidential elections, went missing.

“I am deeply saddened and regret to inform everyone that this has turned out to be a terrible tragedy. A search and rescue team found the plane near a hill. It was found completely destroyed, no one survived,” Chakwera said in an address to the nation.

The plane carrying the 51-year-old left the capital Lilongwe at 9:17 a.m. Malawi time (8:17 a.m. Irish time) yesterday, but was unable to land at Mzuzu Airport as planned due to poor visibility.

It was ordered to return to Lilongwe, but it disappeared from radar and aviation authorities were unable to make contact with the plane.

Chakwera said all passengers on board died on impact and the military was transporting their remains back to the capital.

“Despite the history of the plane and the experience of the crew, something terrible happened to the plane on the return flight to Lilongwe and it crashed, leaving us all devastated,” the president confirmed.

The 51-year-old was arrested in 2022 on corruption charges. However, last month the court dismissed the charges against him after the Director of Public Prosecutions submitted a notice discontinuing the case. Chilima denied any wrongdoing.