Thursday, June 20, 2024

Vice-president of Malawi killed in plane crash

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

Mr Chakwera said he had previously flown on the same aircraft for similar trips. The crew had successfully operated it just hours before the accident, he added.

“And yet, despite the track record of the aircraft and the experience of the crew, something terrible went wrong with that aircraft on its flight back to Lilongwe, sending it crashing down,” he said.

First elected vice president in 2014, the charismatic yet stern-talking Mr Chilima was a widely loved figure in Malawi, particularly among young people.

But in 2022, during his second stint in the job, he was stripped of his powers after being arrested and charged with graft over a bribery scandal involving a British-Malawian businessman.

Last month, a Malawian court dropped the charges and he resumed his official duties. He was seen as a potential candidate in next year’s presidential election.

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

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

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