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Mnangagwa, Chamisa mourn Ethiopian Airlines crash victims

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By Angencies/Anna Chibamu

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and rival MDC leader Nelson Chamisa took the social media, Sunday to express their sadness over the Ethiopian Airlines plane disaster.

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max scheduled flight to Kenya, went down just after take-off from Bole International Airport, in Addis Ababa, early Sunday, killing all 157 on board.

The passengers from 35 different nationalities on board included 32 Kenyans, seven Britons, Canadians, Chinese as well as UN officials returning to Nairobi from an environmental convention. Unconfirmed reports claimed a Zimbabwean woman working with the World Food Program (WFP) had cheated death after missing the flight.

The aircraft accident has been described as one of the worst airline accidents on African soil in a decade with a huge global impact and the second airline’s tragic accident in five months after its Lion Boeing 737 Max crashed off Jakarta, Indonesia last October killing all 189 passengers on board.

In a twitter message, President Mnangagwa said: “I send my condolences and prayers to all families of those who lost their lives today on the Ethiopian Airlines flight to Nairobi. Our thoughts and strength go out to our African brothers and sisters and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.”

Opposition leader Chamisa said he had been saddened by the news.

“Just from Church; Saddened by the news and fate of an Ethiopian Airlines passenger aircraft reported to have crashed 6 minutes after takeoff en route to Kenya. My heart aches on account of the lives of the 157 passengers. Prayers are with all those affected. One Africa; One people!,” Chamisa said

Some of the African leaders to have mourned the crash victims include South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta where 32 of his nationals were aboard the doomed aircraft.

Meanwhile, reports say investigations to determine the cause of the crash have begun with the United States is said to be sending its aviation experts to help on the recovery and investigation on the tragedy.

According to Ethiopian Airlines authorities and the Kenyan cabinet secretary James Macharia, family members of those who died in the horrific crash have been informed.