Plane carrying Malawi Vice-President Saulos Chilima goes missing

Lilongwe, June 10 A military aircraft carrying Malawi's Vice-President Saulos Chilima and nine others has gone missing, the media reported as quoted by a statement from the President's office.

The Malawi Defense Force aircraft "went off the radar" after it left the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday morning, BBC reported.

The President ordered a search and rescue operation after aviation officials were unable to contact the aircraft.

It was supposed to land at Mzuzu International Airport, in the country's north, just after 10 a.m. local time, BBC reported.

After being told of the incident by the Defence Force's commander, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera cancelled his flight to the Bahamas, which was scheduled for Monday evening.

"The public will be updated on any developments on the situation as facts are established," the President's office added.

The reason for the aircraft's disappearance is not yet known, General Valentino Phiri told Chakwera, BBC reported.

Moses Kunkuyu, Malawi's Information Minister, told the BBC that efforts to find the aircraft are "intensive".

Chilima was on his way to represent the government at the burial of former Cabinet minister Ralph Kasambara, who died three days ago.

Kunkuyu said: "The airport he was to land, which is in the northern part of Mzuzu, was the closest to where the funeral was taking place."

In 2022, Chilima was arrested and charged on allegations that he accepted money in exchange for awarding government contracts, BBC reported.

Last month, the court dropped the charges, giving no reasons for this decision.

Source: IANS

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