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Wednesday June 19, 2024

Plane carrying Malawi's vice president reported missing

Forces ordered to conduct "immediate search and rescue operation" for locating aircraft

By AFP
June 10, 2024
Saulos Chilima, the vice president of Malawi, gestures during a political gathering. — AFP/File
Saulos Chilima, the vice president of Malawi, gestures during a political gathering. — AFP/File

A military aircraft carrying Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima has been reported missing after it failed to make a landing Monday morning, the government said.

"All efforts by aviation authorities to make contact with the aircraft since it went off the radar have failed thus far," the government said in a statement.

The plane, which took off just after 9:00am local time (0700 GMT), was carrying 51-year-old Chilima and nine others.

President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered regional and national forces to conduct an "immediate search and rescue operation to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft", the statement said.

Chakwera, who was due to travel to the Bahamas for a working visit, has since cancelled his trip.

In 2022, Chilima was stripped of his powers when he was arrested and charged with graft over a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman.

Last month, a Malawian court dropped the charges after Chilima attended several court appearances.