The Malawian government has confirmed that an aircraft carrying Malawi’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima and nine others has gone missing.

In a statement, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said the Malawi Defence Force aircraft “went off the radar” after it left the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday morning.

The president ordered a search and rescue operation after aviation officials could not contact the aircraft.

It was supposed to land at Mzuzu International Airport, in the country’s north, just after 10:00 local time (09:00 BST).

After the Defence Force’s commander informed him of the incident, Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera canceled his flight to the Bahamas, which was scheduled for Monday evening.

“The public will be updated of any developments on the situation as facts are established,” Chakwera said.

Mr Chilima was on his way to represent the government at the burial of former cabinet minister Ralph Kasambara, who died three days ago.