We mourn the loss of Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima

We are deeply saddened by news of the loss of Malawi Vice President, together with nine other passengers, after their plane crashed this week. The aircraft went missing whilst on route from the nation’s capital Lilongwe to the city of Mzuzu, 230 miles to the north, to attend the funeral of a former government minister. 

HE Chilima served as CoST Malawi Champion from 2015 until March 2021. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, President of Malawi and current CoST Champion HE Lazurus Chakwera, and the people of Malawi. 

We remember HE Chilima for his unwavering support for reforms aimed at improving transparency and accountability in infrastructure investment. He approached this work with tremendous commitment and maintained a focus on ensuring that more and better-quality infrastructure was available to improve the lives of the people.  

Former Vice-President of Malawi, Saulos Chilima and CoST Board Chair, Christiaan (Chrik) Poortman, meeting at the launch of the CoST Malawi Third Assurance Report

When he became CoST Champion, HE Chilima said, “As we look forward to the next 50 years, as Malawians, we need to take responsibility for our own destiny, and this should start with us being accountable for the resources entrusted to us. I commit myself to championing the CoST agenda wholeheartedly in Malawi.”   

Joe Chingani, MSG Chair CoST Malawi, said: “As Chairperson and together with fellow MSG members, we mourn Vice President Chilima with fond memories of his keen interest in genuine and practical transparency in the governance space. Regularly seeking updates and always willing to support the program, he will forever be missed. Still, his legacy lives on.”

Chair of the CoST board Christiaan Poortman said: “We are shocked and saddened by this news. The Vice President was dedicated to public service and the most fitting tribute we can pay him is to continue the important work that he pioneered.” 

HE Chilima also headed the country’s Public Service Reform Commission and used that role to strengthen the reform agenda. He was successful in ensuring that the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard was included in the Reviews of the Procurement Regulations 2020. He also supported development of the CoST Malawi data disclosure platform that continues to help inform and empower citizens. 

At this time of bereavement, everyone involved in CoST extend our heartfelt condolences to all those impacted by this tragedy.