Chakwera seeks international assistance to help locate Chilima’s missing plane

By Chisomo Phiri

President Dr.Lazarus Chakwera says he has contacted neighbouring countries and development partners including the US, British, Norwegian and Israeli governments for support including the use of  specialised technologies to enhance the search and rescue mission for the missing plane carrying Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and nine others.

Chakwera said this in his emergency nation address at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe last night.


The President said he is not sparing any available resource to ensure that the Vice President and the people he was travelling with are found.

He urged Malawians to use the updates from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) whom he has instructed to provide regular updates to avoid being misinformed.

The president said the MDF has been instructed to continue with the search and rescue mission until the plane is found.

Chakwera further directed the MDF to provide regular updates on the search and rescue operation.

He also appealed for the nation to join hands in prayer for those who boarded the plane.

The plane carrying Chilima and nine others was supposed to land in the Northern Region capital of Mzuzu.

From there, the Vice President was to take over one hour long trip to Nkhata Bay for the burial of former Attorney General, Ralph Kasambara.

He had just returned from South Korea where he attended the Korea-Africa summit on delegation from President Chakwera.

According to reports, Chilima took the plane because he wanted to be back in Lilongwe by 5:00 pm to see off President Chakwera who was to depart Malawi for the Bahamas and Switzerland respectively.

However, at about 10:50 am, the ground crew made contact with the plane informing them that it would be impossible to land because of bad weather in Mzuzu.

The crew was advised to return to base.

That was the last contact that the plane made contact with the ground crew.

Others on the plane were Lukas Kapheni, Chisomo Chimaneni, Gloria Mtukule, Shanil Dzimbiri, Dan Kanyemba, Abdul Lapukeni, Colonel Sambalopa, Major Selemani and Major Aidin.