Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima confirmed dead in plane crash

Malawi's vice president Saulos Klaus Chilima gives a press conference at his office at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, on June 6, 2018. 

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • The military aircraft carrying Chilima and nine others went missing on Monday.
  • Chilima was seen as a potential candidate in next year's presidential election.

Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others have been confirmed dead following Monday's plane crash.

President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday announced that the plane that was carrying Chilima was found and everybody on board was confirmed dead.

The aircraft carrying Chilima, 51, left the capital Lilongwe at 9:17am (0717 GMT) on Monday but was unable to land at Mzuzu airport as scheduled at 10:02am due to poor visibility.

It was ordered to return to the capital but went off the radar and aviation authorities could not make contact with it.

Presidential election

"I'm deeply saddened, I'm sorry to inform you all that it has turn out to be a terrible tragedy. The search and rescue team has found the aircraft near a hill... they have found it completely destroyed with no survivors," President Chakwera, said.

President Chakwera said in an address to the nation that the crash site was in a mountainous part of the Chikangawa Forest.

Chilima, seen as a potential candidate in next year's presidential election, was arrested in 2022 over graft allegations.

However, a Malawi court dropped the charges against him last month after the director of public prosecutions filed a notice for the case to be discontinued. Chilima has denied wrongdoing.