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Malawi Declares 21 Days Of Mourning & State Funeral For Vice President

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Malawi Declares 21 Days Of Mourning & State Funeral For Vice President

Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi will be accorded a state funeral following his demise in an aircraft accident alongside eight other individuals, according to the authorities of the country.

Late Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi

The wreckage of the small military plane carrying Mr. Chilima and the former first lady was found in a hilly area in the north of the country on Tuesday, prompting President of Malawi; Lazarus Chakwera to declare 21 days of national mourning.

Throughout the country of southern Africa, flags will be flown at half-staff during the mourning season.

According to a statement from the government, Mr. Chakwera has designated a ministerial committee to supervise the arrangements for Mr. Chilima’s state funeral. There was no announcement of a date.

Nine individuals were on board when the jet crashed, according to the authorities, notwithstanding the President’s earlier claim that there were ten passengers on board.

Mary Chilima laments her husband’s passing. Photo Credit: The Associated Press

According to the President, the twin-propeller aircraft crashed in a steep, wooded location during terrible weather, killing every person on board instantly. Among the victims was the ex-wife of former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, and former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri. Three members of the military crew and six passengers perished.

Mr. Chilima and members of his staff were on a quick flight from the capital, Lilongwe, to the northern city of Mzuzu to attend a former government minister’s burial when the aircraft reportedly vanished on Monday morning.

Related Article: Malawi’s Vice President Arrested Over $280,000 Bribe Claim

According to the President, the aircraft was instructed by air traffic controllers to return to Lilongwe instead of landing in Mzuzu due to inclement weather and low visibility. After that, the plane vanished off the radar, and air traffic controllers were unable to communicate with it.

The wreckage was found in a forest plantation south of Mzuzu after more than twenty-four hours of searching by hundreds of troops, police officers, and forest rangers.

At Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, mourners stood in line to receive the remains of Mr. Chilima. Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Officials and mourners, including Mr. Chakwera and Mr. Chilima’s wife, Mary, gathered at an airfield on Tuesday night to witness the return of the victims’ remains to Lilongwe via a Zambian Air Force chopper. Soldiers saluted as they lined the tarmac and carried the remains of Mr. Chilima and the others from the airport in ambulances.

May the soul of Vice President Saulos Chilima and other lost souls rest in peace, Amen.

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