Wreckage of Plane Carrying Malawi Vice President and Former First Lady Found in Remote Forest

Wreckage of Plane Carrying Malawi Vice President and Former First Lady Found in Remote Forest
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The wreck­age of a plane car­ry­ing Malaw­i’s Vice Pres­i­dent Sau­los Chili­ma and for­mer first lady Shanil Dzim­biri has been locat­ed in a remote for­est, accord­ing to Pres­i­dent Lazarus Chakwera.

The mil­i­tary air­craft went miss­ing on Mon­day after fail­ing to land in Mzuzu due to bad weath­er. It was instruct­ed to return to the cap­i­tal city of Lilong­we but nev­er arrived. 

Search oper­a­tions focused on a forest­ed area south of Mzuzu where the plane’s last tow­er trans­mis­sion was located.

Pres­i­dent Chak­w­era announced there were no sur­vivors in the crash. Pho­tos from the scene show debris bear­ing the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber of the miss­ing Dornier 228–202K air­craft among the wreck­age strewn across a fog­gy slope.

The U.S. and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries assist­ed in the search effort with heli­copters and drones. But per­sis­tent fog ham­pered vis­i­bil­i­ty for res­cuers on the ground.

Vice Pres­i­dent Chili­ma, 51, and the oth­er nine pas­sen­gers depart­ed Lilong­we around 9 AM on Mon­day to attend the funer­al of a for­mer cab­i­net min­is­ter in Mzuzu, approx­i­mate­ly 230 miles away.

First elect­ed in 2014, Chili­ma is well-liked in Malawi par­tic­u­lar­ly among young people. 

How­ev­er, in 2022 he was charged with cor­rup­tion and stripped of his vice pres­i­den­tial pow­ers over a bribery scan­dal involv­ing a British-Malaw­ian busi­ness­man. The charges were lat­er dropped last month.

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