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Plane carrying Malawi’s vice-president goes missing

Lilongwe, Jun 10 (Prensa Latina) A Malawian military plane carrying the vice president of Malawi, Saulos Chilima, disappeared on Monday from the radar screens and did not land at the scheduled time at the Mzuzu airport, in the north of the country.

A statement from the country’s Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba reported that efforts by aviation authorities to contact the plane have so far failed.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera ordered an immediate search and rescue operation to determine the whereabouts of the aircraft.

According to press, Chilima was due to attend the funeral of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, who was found dead Friday at a hotel room in Malawi. The vice president’s flight left Lilongwe, but did not arrive at Mzuzu International Airport, some 370 kilometers to the north.

The Republic of Malawi is a land-locked country in southeastern Africa with a poor, primarily agricultural economy.

Past September, President Chakwera was harshly criticized by the political opposition and human rights organizations for carrying out an agreement with Israel, in the midst of the war in Gaza, which provides for the sending of 221 young people to carry out jobs that those of that country refuse to perform.

The agreement was adopted in reciprocity to Tel Aviv’s contribution of US$60 million in “support to Malawi’s economic recovery”, according to the official announcement.