Heavy Security at Funeral of Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima Amid Protests

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BLANTYRE, June 17 (Reuters) – Malawians gathered under heavy security on Monday to mourn Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, following protests over the government’s handling of the plane crash that claimed his life and that of eight others last week.

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Chilima, 51, was laid to rest in his home village of Nsipe, in the Ntcheu district, approximately 160 km (100 miles) southeast of the capital, Lilongwe.

On Sunday evening, protests erupted in Chilima’s home district as crowds accused officials of a slow response to the military plane crash. Demonstrators blockaded roads and threw stones at vehicles in the funeral cortege. Tragically, a car crashed into the crowd on the main road, killing four people and injuring more than a dozen, police reported.

President Lazarus Chakwera, who attended the burial on Monday, has called for an independent investigation into the plane crash and the government’s response. However, he did not address the mourners.

Political and religious leaders urged for peace and calm in honor of the late Vice President. “Let’s remember the Vice President by observing peace and maintaining calm, which he always preached,” said Archbishop Thomas Msusa of the Blantyre Archdiocese.

Chilima, leader of the United Transformation Movement party, partnered with Chakwera to form the ruling Tonse Alliance and was his running mate in their 2020 election victory. Despite their successful collaboration, relations had become strained ahead of the 2025 presidential election, in which Chilima was expected to challenge Chakwera.

In 2022, Chilima was arrested on graft allegations, but the charges were dropped last month after the director of public prosecutions filed a notice to discontinue the case. Chilima had consistently denied any wrongdoing.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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