‘We stand with grieving Malawi’ . . .President signs book of condolence

16 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
‘We stand with grieving Malawi’  . . .President signs book of condolence President Mnangagwa signs a book of condolence in Harare yesterday following the death of Malawi Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

The Sunday Mail

Sunday Mail Reporter

ZIMBABWE stands with the people of Malawi during their time of grief following the death of the country’s Vice President, Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, and nine others in a tragic plane crash last week, which has plunged the SADC region into mourning, President Mnangagwa has said.

Dr Chilima died after a military aircraft he was travelling in crashed in a forest in the north of the country on Monday morning.

He was 51.

The plane was flying in bad weather.

The accident also killed former First Lady Ms Shanil Dzimbiri, the ex-wife of former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi.

Speaking to the media after signing the book of condolence at the Malawian Embassy in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa described the death of Dr Chilima as tragic.

“This was really a tragic event, which has stunned all of us in the region,” said the President.

“We did not expect such a tragic accident to happen, which has resulted in the loss of the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and several other distinguished citizens of the Republic of Malawi.

“We are deeply sorry, and I have conveyed my condolences to the President of the Republic of Malawi (Dr Lazarus Chakwera) and to the people of Malawi that we, the people of Zimbabwe, indeed mourn with them on the loss of their great sons and daughters.”

In a condolence message to his Malawian counterpart on Wednesday last week, President Mnangagwa described Dr Chilima as a Pan-Africanist, who stood for continental integration.

“It is with profound sense of shock and sadness that I received the devastating news on the fatal aircraft crash that claimed the lives of the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima; as well as the former First Lady of Malawi, Ms Shanil Muluzi, nee Dzimbiri; amongst other deceased Malawian patriots,” said President Mnangagwa.

“On behalf of the Government and people of Zimbabwe, and on my own behalf, I wish to extend to you and through Your Excellency to the people of the Republic of Malawi, as well as the families of the deceased, our heartfelt condolences and deep sorrow.

“We wish you fortitude on your road to recovery from this tragedy.

“The late Dr Chilima will forever be remembered for his selfless efforts in promoting the bilateral relations between Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as the integration of our African continent.”

Dr Chilima will be buried tomorrow in his home village of Nsipe, Ntcheu, in the central region of the country.

A public body viewing ceremony is set to be held at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe today.

Ms Dzimbiri was buried on Friday.

The group was travelling to attend the funeral of former government minister Ralph Kasambara.

The Malawian government honoured Dr Chilima with a state funeral and declared 21 days of mourning.

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