Chilima’s death left a big gap – Chakwera

Quick enquiry into the matter — Silungwe

People from all the walks of life are today paying their last respects to the Malawi’s departed Vice President, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima whose remains will be laid to rest tomorrow at Nsipe in Ntcheu district.

Speaking his eulogies, President Lazarus Chakwera has described the late Chilima as a good man with full heart of love and not hostility.

Chakwera said Chilima was man, a devoted father and husband, a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction, and a formidable Vice President.

“I consider it one of the greatest honours of my life to have had him as my deputy and counsellor for the past four years, and his passing is a terrible loss to his wife Mary, his family, his friends, his colleagues in Cabinet, and to all of us as a nation that found his leadership and courage a source of inspiration,” Chakwera said.

“I know that it is natural for the pain and helplessness this tragedy causes to make us feel angry because we feel hurt and wounded, and I want you to know that I understand these feelings because I feel them too. So because we are all feeling these things, it is important that we comfort each other now and in the weeks to come as we mourn together,” he said.

He acknowledged the process that the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) is obliged to undertake in such incidents, adding that despite the investigations that the MDF will undertake, investigations by independent third parties are crucial for bolstering confidence in the outcome.

Chakwera requested the general public and called upon his supporters to desist from pushing back against any sad sentiments that mourners may exhibit in their grief for the death of their leader.

He added that: “Olira sitimawatseka pakamwa, chifukwa mukuliramo Mulungu amakhalanso akutitonthoza ndipo ife mbali yathu ikhalenso kutonthozana osati kubwezerana zowawa, chifukwa nkhondo siimanga mudzi.”

In his remarks, the Archbishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese His Grace George Desmond Tambala has called for inquiry into the plane crash incident. He therefore called upon the country to observe and preserve peace during this time of mourning and beyond.

Tambala said Chilima has left the church with the message of love, unity and encouragement that taught the country to believe in the harmony to love the poor and the marginalized.

He described him as a humble man and his teachings will continue to inspire the young people to strive for the best.

In his eulogy, a family representative, Ben Chilima describes the departed Saulos Chilima as a teacher and change maker saying; the family is grateful for the support offered to them during this painful moment.

He has also extended his gratitude to all the people who helped to search for Chilima and others in Chikangawa Forest during that tragic plane crash.

“We want to say thank you to the clergy who gave us the support after the announcement of plane missing till the death of our brother. We are grateful to the pathologists who did the autopsy.

“As the family, we want to go further with the investigation with the incident that led to the plane crush and autopsy,”Chilima said.

In his eulogy, Former Attorney General, Chikosa Silungwe has calls for the Government to take lead of an inquiry into the plane crash that killed Vice-President and eight others in Mzimba.

Delivering his tribute as a friend, the former Sulungwe said conducting a thorough investigation is a constitutional duty as Chilima devoted his life to serving the nation.

He added that establishing the cause of the accident would accord dignity and respect to the victims of the crash.

In his remarks, Sean Cholima a son to late Saulos Chilima said his dad was a great visionary leader and time he spent with his father was always inspiring to him and others.

Sean added he admired his dad ever since he was born adding that aa a daily routine, his dad was always the first to wake up in their house for church.

“I must admit as a child I was not quite certain that my dad was such a hard worker. He was a man who always made sure to get things done.

“My dad was also a sportsman and I took after him. He and mum taught us good morals and always to be humble,” he said Sean.

Chilima’s plane went off the radar after it failed to land in the northern city of Mzuzu due to bad weather. The vice president was on his way to attend the funeral ceremony of former attorney general and justice minister Ralph Kasambara who died last week in Lilongwe.

Stories of the military plane to have disappeared started filtering in soon after aviation authorities advised the pilots to return to Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe as the plane could not land in bad weather which resulted in poor visibility.

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