Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Malawians honor vice-president killed in tragic plane crash

Malawians honor vice-president killed in tragic plane crash

Malawians honor vice-president killed in tragic plane crash

Malawians honor vice-president killed in tragic plane crash

Advertisement
  • Thousands of Malawians are attending a funeral service at the national stadium to honor the late vice president.
  • Foreign governments and international agencies will be invited to assist in investigating the accident.
  • Chilima had a successful career in the private sector before entering politics at the age of 40.
Advertisement

Tens of thousands of Malawians are participating in a funeral service at the national stadium to honor the vice president, Saulos Chilima, who died in a plane crash last week. Chilima, 51, was seen as a breath of fresh air in Malawian politics. Known for his eloquence as a public speaker and energetic campaigning, he greatly influenced Malawi’s youth, who make up more than half of the population.

A full mass, reflecting his devout Catholicism, is part of the service. His burial in his home district of Ntcheu, 180km (112 miles) south of Lilongwe, will take place on Monday, declared a public holiday. The service at Bingu National Stadium commenced with poignant tributes from his family. The stadium, with a capacity of 41,000, is filled, with additional people gathered outside.

A guard of honor brought his coffin, draped in Malawi’s red, green, and black flag, into the stadium.

Sean, his son, remembered how loving his father was, always making time for children and playing games with them. Sean also mentioned that his father had been highly competitive and always strived to win.

“Dad was a hard worker who always made sure he got things done,” he said.

Ben, his brother, expressed gratitude for receiving the personal belongings Saulos had with him at the time of the accident, such as his watch and rosary. Some attendees in the stadium booed government officials, including President Lazarus Chakwera, during their speeches. Catholic priests intervened to restore calm.

Advertisement

Mr. Chilima died last Monday while traveling in a military aircraft to the northern town of Nkhata Bay, where he was scheduled to attend the funeral of a former cabinet minister. The entire crew and other passengers on board, including former First Lady Shanil Dzimbiri, also lost their lives.

President Chakwera attributed the plane crash to poor visibility caused by bad weather, but Mr. Chilima’s UTM party has demanded a thorough and independent investigation. At the service, Archbishop Desmond Tambala of Lilongwe, speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church in Malawi, supported this call.

President Chakwera announced that foreign governments and international agencies would be invited to assist in investigating the accident because “the Malawi Army cannot investigate itself”.

Before entering politics at the age of 40, Mr. Chilima had a successful career in the private sector, holding various senior, well-paid positions in business.

Initially under former President Peter Mutharika, Mr. Chilima served as vice-president since 2014. After a falling out with Mr. Mutharika, Mr. Chilima founded his party, the UTM. In the 2019 elections, he ran for president and came third behind Mr. Mutharika and Mr. Chakwera, but the Malawi high court nullified the election results following fraud complaints.

In the 2020 presidential election, Mr. Chilima agreed to be Mr. Chakwera’s running mate in an alliance of nine opposition parties. In June 2022, he stated that as part of that agreement, President Chakwera was supposed to serve for only one term, after which he would support Mr. Chilima in the next elections in September 2025. President Chakwera has not publicly disputed Mr. Chilima’s claim, but in recent public statements, he has started to hint that he might seek re-election next year.

Advertisement

President Chakwera has not publicly disputed Mr. Chilima’s claim, but he has recently begun to hint in public that he might seek re-election next year.

In public appearances, Mr. Chilima and Mr. Chakwera appeared to be on good terms. Still, many believed a fallout was inevitable, especially after senior leaders of their respective parties began openly endorsing their candidacies in next year’s elections.

Also Read

Secret of Malawi and witchcraft violence
Secret of Malawi and witchcraft violence

Since 2019, mobs have killed at least 75 people suspected of dark...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Read More News On

Catch all the International News, Breaking News Event and Latest News Updates on The BOL News


Download The BOL News App to get the Daily News Update & Follow us on Google News.


End of Article

Next Story