APM briefed on security scare at Malawi’s major airport

Minister of Transport Francis Kasaila has said  President Peter Mutharika has been briefed on the incident where a man managed to board a plane grounded on the runway at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA), Malawi’s major international airport, and spent the whole night in the plane without being detected.

The  Bombardier Q400 parked at the Malawi airport

The Bombardier Q400 parked at the Malawi airport

Kasaila  said government was working on getting to the bottom of the incident.

The man is yet to undergo a medical test over his suspected mental illness .

KIA Police Public Relations Officer Sapulani Chitonde identified the man as James Govati, 25, from Kampachika Village, TA Mazengera in Lilongwe.

He reportedly removed the emergency exit door of the plane, a Q400 Bombardier belonging to Malawian Airlines, to make his way into the plane at around 3am Sunday and was only detected several hours later by engineers who noticed that the plane’s door had been removed.

According to Chitonde,  when the police questioned the man he said he wanted to travel to South Africa for medical treatment.

Malawian Airlines spokesperson Ovixlela Bunya confirmed told the local media that they are “still investigating” the matter, but pointed out that the plane had no scheduled flight on Sunday morning.

“The engineers went to check why the door was open and realised it had been removed, upon reaching the plane they saw a man inside and the man started running away from them. He was at the back of the plane and started running towards the cockpit,” said Bunya as quoted in The Nation.

Bunya said safety is Malawi Airlines “top most priority”  hence  they are making “every effort to establish how this person managed to get inside the plane.”

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The plane was parked at the apron and not in the runway. I think the security personnel will tell us as to what happened. It once happened at Mzuzu airport in 1976 I think whereby an air Malawi norman islander got its engines started by a person from chibanja



ochuluka nzeru

I get worried each time I board a plane either in Lilongwe or Blantyre. Some security officers do not take searching seriously with our friends of middle east origin. Yet more plane security issues arise from such people. I am not suggesting they discriminate but security officers must diligently carry out all search details and not on trust basis because they saw/know this guy in a shop in Limbe!

Mwawi mwasanga

I hope somebody was kind enough to buy him a ticket to South Africa.


In terms of national security, complacency isn’t an option, how ever regardless of how vigilant a state or a country might be, loopholes will always avail themselves, even in developed countries whose security system is considered to be of supreme like UK. Apparently there were reports of some illegal immigrants who would risk their lives by hanging under an aeroplane as if takes off. Some would unfortunate fellow to the ground dead.

Madalitso mmangitsa

Its so sad!

Hagar the Horrible
Our work ethic as Malawians leaves a lot to be desired. I remember arriving at KIA on the 11.00 pm Kenya Airways flight. We spent nearly 30 minutes circling in the air before landing, reason: the person who operates runway lighting had knocked off, taking the keys with him so they had to start looking for him all over Lumbadzi to come and switch on the lights, while we wait in the sky. It sounds like fiction, but it happened. That’s Malawi for you. There are so many examples that one can give to show that we do not take… Read more »

Don’t you think this is a stunt of some kind from the high authority? How can a mere mad man remove a door of a plane. Did he have tools?

masauko Kakhiwa

there is lack of seriousness in the way our police officers r working


Malawi as a country is at the worst of everything under the auspices of this Mutharika government. Talk of fires, food insecurity, the poor economy, state insecurity etc. The list is endless. If I were the president, I should have resigned. The government is given to the dogs.

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