‘Death is painful but Chilima’s passing has hurt so much because he has left a huge gap that no one will be able to fill’

* Christianity was portrayed in everything that he did and it’s my prayer that God in heaven should reward him for his good deeds

* His body will lie in state at Parliament buildings tomorrow for Malawians to pay their final respects

Maravi Express

During Requiem Mass at Lilongwe’s St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Parish chairperson Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka described late Vice-President Saulos Chilima as a dedicated member of the church who was ever present at every church’s event.


“I know that death is painful but Chilima’s passing has hurt so much because he has left a huge gap that no one will be able to fill,” he said. “Chilima was a devoted Catholic whose Christianity was portrayed in everything that he did and it’s my prayer that God in heaven should reward him for his good deeds.”

Describing the late Chilima as a dedicated and humble member of the church, the assistant officiating Rev. Father Zulu said the Vice-President would be remembered as a Saint in their prayers at St. Patrick’s Parish.

“It all feels like a dream; we are all crying. Chilima was a church elder here and he loved the church so much. He was an easy going person, easy to interact with.

“I thank Madam Mary Chilima and the President for allowing this mass to take place,” he said, while appreciating the presence of Chakwera and the First Lady, Madame Monica Chakwera.

Auxiliary Bishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese, Bishop Vincent Mwakhwawa officiated the Mass where late Chilima used to attend church services since 2007 and in his sermon, the Bishop said Chilima’s legacy will carry on.

Meanwhile, Chilima’s body was taken to his official State Residence at Area 12 where it was welcomed by a sombre mood on multitudes of Malawians from all walks of life that have gathered to mourn him.

Government officials, political party officials, the Ngoni community, religious leaders were among those present at the residence where a military gun salute was sounded in his honour 30 minutes after the arrival.

Chilima’s body will be moved to Parliament buildings tomorrow where it will lie in state for Malawians to pay their final respects and will be laid to rest on Monday, June 17, at Nsipe Village, Ntcheu District.

Meanwhile, in Nassau, Bahamas, African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank) president Benedict Oramah has condoled the country on the tragic loss of Vice-President Saulos Chilima and eight others during a plane crash on Monday.

Prof. Oramah sent the condolence message during his keynote address last evening at the ongoing AfreximBank annual meeting at Baha Mar Convention, Arts & Entertainment Center in Nassau.

It ends tomorrow and President Lazarus Chakwera was supposed to attend but canceled the trip before confirmation that the plane that had gone missing the radar had been found with all on board dead.

At the meeting that has brought together on one platform thousands of people, including African and Caribbean leaders and senior government officials, policymakers, corporate leaders, bankers, academia, and other leaders, Orama urged the gathering to put Malawians into prayers as the country was going through its difficult time.


“We were supposed to have Malawi leader at this meeting but he failed to make it due to this loss,” Oramah said before delivering his speech. “I am sending my condolence message and prayers to the Malawi leader and should feel that we are together during this trying moment.

“May all those who lost their lives rest in peace and God should console the bereaved families,” he said.

Oramah said his bank has been helping Malawi in different ways and shall continue to do so in many years to come in areas of infrastructural development and mega-farms among other important areas as one way to uplift socio-economic development.

AfreximBank recently initiated construction of the Magwero Industrial Park in Lilongwe — an integrated business infrastructure set to accelerate the countrys industrialization.

At the meeting, several speakers including the African Union, sent their condolence messages to the Malawi government and during the opening of the gathering on Monday, delegates observed a one-minute silence as paying their respects to the late Vice President and other departed souls.

Secretary for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mwaiwawo Polepole, who is leading Malawi delegates in Nassau acknowledged that the condolences are showing unity and love to Malawi and commended delegates for the gesture.—Reporting for MANA in Lilongwe by Eunice Disi, Rosalia Kapiri, Priscilla Phiri, Lesnart Kenani and in Bahamas by Tikondane Vega; editing by Maravi Express