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Malawi Mourns Vice-President Saulos Chilima in Emotional Funeral Service

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louis Buyisiwe

Jun 16, 2024

Malawi Mourns Vice-President Saulos Chilima in Emotional Funeral Service

A guard of honour brings His coffin into the stadium

Tens of thousands of Malawians gathered at Bingu National Stadium to pay tribute to Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who tragically died in a plane crash last week. The 51-year-old leader was seen as a breath of fresh air in Malawian politics, known for his eloquence and energetic campaigning.

A Leader for the Youth

Chilima, who held significant influence among the youth, was a devout Catholic. The funeral service included a full mass, reflecting his faith. His coffin, draped in Malawi's red, green, and black flag, was escorted by a guard of honour into the stadium.

Personal Tributes

The 41,000-capacity stadium was filled to the brim, with more people gathered outside. Emotional tributes from his family marked the start of the service. His son, Sean, remembered Chilima as a loving and competitive father who always found time for his children. His brother, Ben, expressed gratitude for receiving Chilima’s personal belongings from the crash site, including his watch and rosary.

Public Reaction

The service was not without tension, as some attendees booed government officials, including President Lazarus Chakwera, during their speeches. Catholic priests intervened to restore calm.

Final Resting Place

Chilima will be buried in his home district of Ntcheu, 180km south of Lilongwe, on Monday. The day has been declared a public holiday in his honour.

Malawi mourns the loss of a leader who inspired hope and captured the hearts of many, especially the youth. His death leaves a significant void in the nation's political landscape.

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