UK-based Malawians observing Mass in memory of late Vice-President Saulos Chilima

* The memorial is not only a time to mourn but also to be grateful for such a gift that was SKC to our nation

* To all immediate families affected by the tragedy, we extend our deepest condolences

By Duncan Mlanjira

Society of Malawians in the United Kingdom are this afternoon holding a memorial Mass in honour in Northampton of late Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima, who died in the tragic plane crash on June 10 alongside former First Lady Madame Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri and seven others.


Anstance Fometu — lead organiser of the event to be presided over by Catholic Church priest, Father Stanley Orazulike — said in an interview that the tragic incident that led to the death of Chilima and the other eight other patriots is a great loss for everyone in Malawi.

“It is only right that Northampton hosts the memorial event as it was the last place he visited and met them in 2018,” she said. “We hold such precious memories as a community and we would like to say a big thank you for the service to our Mother Malawi, to Dr. S.K. Chilima and all who perished.

“The memorial is not only a time to mourn but also to be grateful for such a gift that was SKC to our nation. To all immediate families affected by the tragedy, we extend our deepest condolences.”

On her part, UTM Party member, Karol Whayo said “SKC was a great son of the soil, not only for UTM family but for all Malawians. He changed the political landscape that allowed young people like myself to feel like we can also actively participate in politics. 

“You can see now that even in his death, people from all walks of life are coming together to pay their last respects regardless of our political affiliations. Even though he is gone, he has engraved some good qualities of life in me that I will always cherish.”

Chairperson of UTM Party in UK, Kondwani Bowoyeke Munthali, who is and also one of the key organisers of the event, when asked to comment, urged Malawians and his fellow UTM supporters not to relent but continue to follow Chilima’s continued slogan: “’Osatopa, Osafooka, Osagonja’ — the mission must not die just as our Founder himself advised us when he came to visit us in Northampton a few years back.”

Chilima addressing Malawians in Northampton in 2018

Chairperson of the organising committee, Rhodrick Kalumpha said he was grateful of the huge positive response from the Malawians in diaspora ahead of the special Mass and also for their unrelenting support towards one another through the Society of Malawians in the UK.

“News of the tragic death of SKC really shocked all of us here and for those of us who met him when he visited us in Northampton have a special bond with him as he made us feel more proud to be Malawians.

“He asked us to make positive contributions towards our beloved Malawians, saying the distance between us and back home is not an excuse not to take part in the development of our country.

“And that is true because Malawi is our home and we must prepare well for when we shall return to continue contribute towards the good of our nation.”


The programme includes guests signing in a condolences book on their entry into Northampton Church followed by the National Anthem in Chichewa Version led by Matamando Choir then the Sermon by Father Stanley Orazulike.

Eulogies shall follow by UTM Wing by chairperson Kondwani Munthali, representative of the Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, family and friend representative, Jarvis Matiya and the signing of late Saulos Chilima’s favourite hymn.

Tributes shall be made for Madame Dzimbiri, Chilima’s aide-de-camp (ADC), Malawi Police Inspector, Chisomo Chimaneni; guard commander, Assistant Commissioner Lucas Kapheni; his personal physician, Dan Kanyemba; deputy chief of protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Lapukeni and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) plane crew of Major Selemani Ngwirinji, Major Wales Aidini and Colonel Owen Sambalopa.

It will end by a one minute silence to all the departed and the release of white of doves by all guests outside the church.