Mystery over Nigerian plane at Chileka

Mystery surrounds the arrival of a Nigerian military plane in the middle of the night on Saturday which landed at Chileka airport and was welcomed by State House officials.

The plane with three white pilots landed at exactly 1.48am and two State House vehicles, a black Toyota VX registration number BK 9704 and a white Toyota Hiace minibus BK8304 were there to welcome people in the plane.

They stayed at the airport for close to 20 minutes before heading to a top Blantyre Hotel where they were accommodated.

President Banda boarding Nigerian jet
Not new for Nigerian plane to land at Chileka. In this file photo President Banda is boarding Nigerian jet

Nyasa Times correspondent witnessed the arrival from a distance as Police barred anyone from entering the airport premises.

Then Nyasa Times under cover journalists followed the two State House cars to Ryalls Hotel where three white men in pilot uniform emerged from the State House Toyota VX.

They checked in at the Hotel at about 2.30am and immediately the cars left for Sanjika Palace but they used a road which passes by Chilembwe Lodge.

Insiders said they suspect the plane maybe bringing ‘something’.

“Just for your own information, there are members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) staying at Ryalls and also Presidential adviser on Communication Wakuda Kamanga is also staying at the same hotel, something fishy is going on here,” said our source.

Hotel sources confirmed that three ZEC officials and Wakuda Kamanga were staying at the hotel.

Political parties and civil society groups in Malawi have questioned the role of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in helping the May 20 polls, saying they fear it could result in vote-rigging.

Malawi is preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections on May 20 and ZEC has agreed to provide the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) with gas lamps and tents on polling day.

But the Malawian political parties say ZEC should not have anything to do with the polls because of its history of disputed elections in Zimbabwe.

The parties fear ZEC would help President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party to rig the elections.

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace national co-ordinator Chris Chisoni said his organisation was on alert and would deploy observers throughout the country.

“Given the perception that Zimbabwe’s recent elections were not free and fair, MEC’s involvement with Zimbabwe raises eyebrows,” he said.

However, government spokesman Brown Mpinganjira trashed the fears of rigging, saying MEC was operating independently.

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