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Aircraft Carrying Malawi Vice President Goes Missing

Malawi’s vice president, along with nine other individuals, has gone missing after their military plane vanished during a brief journey from the capital to a mountainous area in the northern part of the country.

The president’s office has confirmed that a search operation is currently underway. Vice President Saulos Chilima, aged 51, departed from Lilongwe, the capital of the southern African nation, at 9:17 a.m. Unfortunately, the aircraft disappeared from the radar and did not arrive at its scheduled destination, Mzuzu International Airport, approximately 370 kilometres (230 miles) to the north, as planned.

“All efforts to make contact with the aircraft since it went off radar have failed thus far,” according to a statement from Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s office. Chakwera ordered a search operation and cancelled a trip to the Bahamas, his office said. The others onboard were not identified.

Mzuzu is Malawi’s third-biggest city and the capital of the northern region. It lies in a hilly, forested area dominated by the Viphya mountain range, which has vast plantations of pine trees.

The Times media group in Malawi reported that search teams, including soldiers, police officers, and others, were combing through a forested area near Mzuzu in search of any signs of the plane.

Following this, President Chakwera instructed both national and local authorities to immediately initiate a search and rescue operation to locate the aircraft, as stated by his office.

Later, Chakwera announced on his official Facebook page that he would address the nation live at 11 p.m. Meanwhile, Chilima, who had been facing corruption charges related to alleged bribery in government contract awards, surprisingly had the charges dropped by prosecutors last month.

This decision drew criticism, suggesting that Chakwera’s administration was not taking a strong enough stance against corruption.

Chilima was arrested in late 2022 and had made several court appearances, but the trial had not yet commenced. He vehemently denied the allegations.

In the 2019 Malawian presidential election, Chilima emerged as a candidate and secured the third position. However, the victory was claimed by the incumbent Peter Mutharika, although it was later nullified by Malawi’s Constitutional Court due to irregularities. Notably, Chakwera secured the second position in that election.

Following this, Chilima made a significant move by joining Chakwera’s campaign as his running mate in the historic election rerun of 2020.

Eventually, Chakwera emerged as the elected president. This event marked a significant milestone in Africa, as it was the first time that a court-overturned election result led to the defeat of a sitting president.

In the 2019 Malawian presidential election, Chilima emerged as a candidate and secured the third position.

However, the victory was claimed by the incumbent Peter Mutharika, although it was later nullified by Malawi’s Constitutional Court due to irregularities. Notably, Chakwera secured the second position in that election.

Following this, Chilima made a significant move by joining Chakwera’s campaign as his running mate in the historic election rerun of 2020.

Eventually, Chakwera emerged as the elected president. This event marked a significant milestone in Africa, as it was the first time that a court-overturned election result led to the defeat of a sitting president.

Source – Tru News Report

Gabs

Gabby Nash, popularly known as Gabs, is an incredibly talented writer and blogger. With an extensive career spanning over 15 years in journalism, Gabs has established a reputation for excellence that is truly remarkable. Throughout the years, he has contributed numerous thought-provoking articles and blog posts to various prominent Ghanaian websites and blogs. In the late 90s, he began his writing journey with Graphic Showbiz, Junior Graphic, and The Mirror, which is a subsidiary of Graphic Communication Group Limited. His articles have consistently showcased a deep level of insight and wisdom.
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