Plane Carrying Malawi Vice President Disappears After ‘Going Off the Radar’

Plane Carrying Malawi Vice President Disappears After 'Going Off the Radar'
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A mil­i­tary plane car­ry­ing Malaw­i’s Vice Pres­i­dent Sau­los Chili­ma and nine oth­ers has gone ‘off the radar’ after tak­ing off from the coun­try’s cap­i­tal Lilongwe. 

The plane, which was sup­posed to land at Mzuzu Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, failed to reach its des­ti­na­tion and all efforts by avi­a­tion author­i­ties to make con­tact with the air­craft have been unsuc­cess­ful so far.

The inci­dent occurred this morn­ing around 9 am local time (7 am BST) as the plane was car­ry­ing the Vice Pres­i­dent, his wife Mary, and sev­er­al offi­cials from his polit­i­cal par­ty, the Unit­ed Trans­for­ma­tion Movement. 

They were trav­el­ing to rep­re­sent the gov­ern­ment at the funer­al of a for­mer cab­i­net minister.

Malaw­i’s 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 pres­i­dent has also can­celled his own planned trip to the Bahamas, stat­ing that the “pub­lic will be updat­ed of any devel­op­ments on the sit­u­a­tion as facts are established”.

In 2022, Chili­ma was stripped of his vice-pres­i­den­tial pow­ers when he was arrest­ed and charged with graft over a $150million bribery scan­dal. How­ev­er, the charges were sud­den­ly dropped last month.

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