Malawi: Plane Carrying Vice-President Saulos Chilima Reported Missing

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A search operation is currently ongoing in Malawi following the disappearance of a plane carrying the country's vice-president, Saulos Chilima, and nine other individuals.

A military aircraft carrying the vice-president of Malawi and nine other individuals has disappeared, prompting a search effort, as announced by President Lazarus Chakwera's office on Monday.

The plane, with 51-year-old Vice-President Saulos Chilima aboard, took off from Lilongwe but failed to arrive at Mzuzu International Airport as scheduled, approximately 370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north, about 45 minutes later.

Efforts to establish contact with the aircraft since it vanished from radar have been unsuccessful, leading President Chakwera to authorize an immediate search and rescue operation.

During a live address on state TV channel MBC, President Chakwera revealed that the plane was unable to land at Mzuzu International Airport as planned due to adverse weather conditions and poor visibility, prompting air traffic control to instruct it to return. Shortly after losing contact with air traffic control, the aircraft disappeared from radar.

Chakwera expressed deep concern and assured the public of his commitment to deploying all available resources to locate the missing plane and expressed hope for survivors.

As a result of the ongoing situation, Chakwera canceled a scheduled visit to the Bahamas.

Vice-President Chilima had previously faced corruption allegations in 2022, leading to his temporary suspension from office, which were later dropped in May.