When Parliament in Malawi started afternoon deliberations on Tuesday, only a handful of the 22 ministers, who occupy the two front benches on the government side, were present.
This development forced Kasungu North MP McJones Shaba to raise the matter in the House.
â€œI am worried that the front benches are empty,â€ he said, amid protests from the government side, calling the MP to â€œlook at your front benches, too.â€
As business started, First Deputy Speaker Jones Chingola presided over an almost empty chamber.
The Sergeant-At-Arms took his position at the scheduled time to usher in Chingola, but he had to retreat after noticing empty seats in the chamber.
Cabinet members present were Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga, Gender, Child Welfare and Community Development Minister Anita Kalinde, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Grace Maseko and Lands and Housing Minister and leader of the House Henry Phoya.
They occupied left of the front bench on the government side while the immediate bench behind them was empty.
The sole occupant of the second row on this side was Minister of the Elderly and Disability Reen Kachere.