Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima Dies In Tragic Plane Crash

Jack daniel
2 min readJun 11, 2024


Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima tragically lost his life in a plane crash, announced the nation’s president on Tuesday, after search teams discovered the wreckage of the aircraft in a foggy forest. The military plane, carrying Chilima, 51, and nine others, went missing on Monday when it failed to land in the northern city of Mzuzu due to adverse weather conditions. Instead, it was instructed to return to the capital, Lilongwe.

“The search and rescue team have located the aircraft … completely destroyed with no survivors, as all passengers on board perished in the crash,” stated Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera in a national address.

“Words cannot express how devastating this news is,” he added, describing the incident as a “terrible tragedy.”

Images provided to AFP by a member of the military rescue team depicted army personnel standing on a foggy slope near debris bearing the registration number of the Malawi Army Air Wing Dornier 228–202K aircraft.

Rescuers had been scouring a fog-enveloped forest south of Mzuzu on Tuesday, after authorities pinpointed the last tower signal transmitted by the plane before it vanished.

Earlier, army commander General Paul Valentino Phiri disclosed that other countries, including Malawi’s neighbors, had joined in the search effort, providing support such as helicopters and drones.

The group had departed Lilongwe just after 9:00 am (0700 GMT) on Monday to attend the funeral of a former cabinet minister some 370 kilometers (230 miles) away in Mzuzu.

Also on board was Malawi’s former first lady, Shanil Dzimbiri.

Chakwera revealed that he had previously flown on the same aircraft for similar trips. He added that the crew had successfully operated it just hours before the accident.

“Yet, despite the aircraft’s track record and the crew’s experience, something went terribly wrong on its flight back to Lilongwe, leading to the crash,” he remarked.

First elected vice president in 2014, the charismatic yet stern-talking Chilima was widely admired in Malawi, especially among young people.

However, in 2022, during his second term in office, Chilima was stripped of his powers following his arrest and subsequent graft charges over a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman.

Last month, a Malawian court dismissed the charges, and he resumed his official duties.

“Chilima was a good man, a devoted father and husband, a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction, and a formidable vice president,” praised Chakwera.

“I consider it one of the greatest honors of my life to have had him as my deputy and counselor for the past four years.”



Jack daniel

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