National

Is it not strange that DPP has become the Chief Mourner of Chilima’s tragic death? How can the party that planned his assassination love him in death?

On Monday, June 10, 2024, a Dornier 228 military aircraft crashed in Chikangawa Forest in Mzimba, killing Malawi’s Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima and eight other passengers who were aboard the plane.

Since then, propaganda-peddling, rumour-mongering, disbelief and speculation have taken centre-stage in both public and private spaces, with everyone trying to be an expert in weather and flights.

Late Chilima once revealed plot to kill him through poisoning or car crash
Late Chilima once revealed plot to kill him through poisoning or car crash

In their desperate attempts to convince others why the plane crashed, people have created and crafted theories to justify their suspicions, beliefs, views and opinions on the matter.

It is undeniable fact though that death is inevitable! It’s a necessary end of life for every human being, and it can come any form it chooses; sickness or accident. That is why no matter how sophisticated the security system of your house is, death will still visit and take you to your last destination.

That’s why William Shakespeare defined death as a necessary end, adding that it will “come when it will come”. Death cannot be avoided.

It is probably against this background that the Chewas coined an adage “imfa siithawika”, loosely translated into “death is inescapable”. Death embraces everyone. Life shows you discrimination; death shows you equality. Death never bows down to money, power or one’s position in a society.

It is, however, disturbing and disheartening that some political groupings, especially the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Tonse Alliance partner, UTM Party, have taken advantage of the accident that claimed the life of Chilima and eight others to decampaign President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

This is despite the fact that President Chakwera has accepted calls from both the opposition and local non-governmental organizations to institute an independent inquiry into the cause of the accident.

It should be stated, however, that Malawi is not the first and only country where an aircraft of the Dornier type was involved in an accident of such magnitude. Records show that at least 96 air incidents have been attributed to Dornier aircrafts, resulting in a total of 218 deaths that have occurred in different parts of the world.

This specific model, Dornier 228-202K, has caused a total of 12 deaths between 2008 and 2024. The Aviation Safety Network shows the other deaths occurred in Chile in September 2013.

Other non-fatal incidents involving Dornier 228-202K model occurred in the Central African Republic (CAR), Philippines, Nepal, Australia and India. The larger Dornier 228 series has, however, recorded several deaths.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, a Dornier 228-201 commercial aircraft crashed and claimed lives of 27 people in the eastern town of Goma on November 24, 2019.

In Nigeria, a Dornier 228-212 aircraft that was operated by the country’s Air Force crashed in Benue State in 2006 and claimed lives of 13 people. Again in Nigeria, a similar Dornier aircraft belonging to the Air Force crashed in Kaduna State in 2015 and claimed 7 lives.

The other fatal incidents involving a Dornier aircraft on African soil occurred in Cape Verde in August 1999 when a crash claimed 18 lives. In South Sudan’s Pibor town, one passenger died in September 2020. Between 1992 and 2024, Nigeria has had three non-fatal incidents involving the Dornier.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has had two. Sao Tome and Principe one and Somalia one.

Outside Africa, a Dornier crash claimed lives of 11 people in Western India in 1989 and 19 people in Nepal in 1993. Still in Nepal, 14 people lost their lives in 2010 and 15 others in 2012.

Sadly though, DPP and UTM Party have chosen to depoliticize the Malawi incident.

On Thursday, June 13, 2024, some insensitive Malawians released an audio clip in which they are demanding that President Chakwera should drop Ministers of Homeland Security, Dr. Ken Zikhale Ng’omba, and his National Defence counterpart, Harry Mlekanjala Mkandawire, from the Ministerial Committee overseeing the current national fate.

They cited incapacity albeit without stating which attributes they needed for one to serve in that committee.

Another surprise to this discourse is the path DPP has taken to achieve its political ambitions. It is sad that DPP has suddenly become a Chief Mourner for Chilima – a man the party vilified and castigated for criticizing corruption and nepotism that former president Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika allowed to flourish under his watch.

This begs a question: is the DPP sincere in its mourning of Chilima?

One would be tempted to doubted the sincerity of the DPP and its followers in their mourning of Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima. Here is a man who quit the party in protest against nepotism and nepotism, a man who stood up to denounce hunting, abductions and killing of persons with albinism during the DPP regim, how can the same party mourn his passing today?

Chilima is a politician who revealed to Malawians that Mutharika had received a kickback from a $4 million government contract. Here is a politician who revealed at a public rally that the DPP regime was plotting to kill him (https://malawi24.com/2018/12/07/chilima-claims-plot-to-assassinate-him/)! How would it turn around today and claim to be his true friend?

“All the plans, which you are making, whether you want to poison me, to kill me using a car crash or to hire people to shoot. As a matter of fact I saw one of the hired killers at the Tsangano rally,” said Chilima of the DPP regime.

So, how could such a party become so concerned about the departure of an opponent they passionately wanted out?

The truth of the matter is that DPP followers have become Chief Mourners of Chilima because they know that the number of their contenders at the presidential ballot has been reduced.

With Chilima gone, DPP knows there will be no one to reveal their evil plans anymore because Chakwera does not believe in politics of castigation.

Don’t be fooled! DPP is celebrating Chilima’s death.

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