Kunkuyu addresses ‘Blackbox’ issue, crash site pillar, veep appointment, investigations and Chakwera RSA trip

Government says it will not tire to provide timely answers to underlying and emerging questions at the heart of many Malawians with regards to circumstances surrounding the death of the Veep Saulos Chilima and eight other government officials in a plane crash last week

Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu

In a press conference held in Lilongwe today, Kunkuyu answered questions regarding the safety of crash plane’s Blackbox, the request by Chilima’s family to construct a memorial tower at the crash site, the progress on the independent investigations and also confirmed that President Lazarus Chakwera has cancelled his trip to South Africa to attend the inauguration of the re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa.

Kunkuyu said Chakwera has, in his stead, delegated Minister of Foreign Affairs Nancy Tembo to represent him while the country continues mourning the demise of the Vice President.

On the safety of the Blackbox—which is a flight data recorder—Kunkuyu said the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) is at the crash site as it an accident place as such everything about the plane is secured. He also, on the Blackbox, underlined that he can’t comment much as it is one of the technical issues about the plane that will be subject both to local and international investigators.

On the independent investigations, Kunkuyu has said that consultations are underway on the launch of an investigation, adding that the President is committed to seeing this issue through.

The Minister has also hailed the media, the church and the nation at large, for the unity demonstrated this far. He said government does not take for granted the level of sanity demonstrated during such a difficult time.

“This whole week has been difficult for all of us but we held our sanity. In the interest of Access to Information (ATI) I would like to request that government and the press should not close this chapter,” further said the Minister.

The soft-spoken Minister also responded to the question regarding the querry by Chilima’s family to visit the crash and also have a marble erected. He said: “The matter has been presented before the Funeral Committee and it will be discussed and the public will be informed.”

On the appointment of Chilima’s replacement, Kunkuyu said Chakwera will comply with the seven days period to appoint Vice President, as required by law. He said president Chakwera always abides by and respects the law, while responding to a question on whether the president will comply with the law.

During the same event, Kunkuyu told journalists that they yet to establish how much of the taxpayers money has been spent on the funeral, adding that the information will be made public when it’s ready.

He was addressing journalists in Lilongwe where he has among other things given a roundup update on events from the point the aircraft carrying the vice president and eight others went missing to this day.


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