Judicial officers, who have been on strike for three months, on Monday refused to call off the industrial action without being informed about the finer details of negotiations between their representatives and the government.
On Saturday, Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Bright Msaka, in the company of Justice Atanasio Tembo and other judges, announced at a press conference in Lilongwe that the strike had been called off as the two sides had reached an agreement.
Msaka, however, did not divulge exact details of the agreed terms of conditions but said it was to the satisfactions of both the Judiciary and the government.
But a visit to the High Court Principal Registry in Blantyre on Monday showed that no business was taking place.
Although both entrances to the premises, which also house the Blantyre Magistrates Courts, were open, some staff were manning the gate and sending back those who came to access court services.
Police officers who had brought about 10 suspects to commence trial took the suspects back into custody. Despite coming on a police vehicle, both the officers and the handcuffed suspects had to walk from the court and board their vehicle outside the fence.
As the staff were refusing to go back to work until they were briefed on the details of the negotiations, the leadership of the striking workers was compelled to consult Justice Tembo and his negotiation team on the same.
Around 11 o'clock in the morning, Justice Tembo flanked by Deputy Registrar Michael Tembo and other senior officials, convened a meeting in Courtroom 1 to address the staff on the state of affairs.
In his brief speech, Justice Tembo informed the gathering, which comprised staff from magistrates courts in and around Blantyre, that he could not go into details on the negotiations as Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo would address them on the matter.
Sources who attended the meeting said after it was known that their arrears would not be paid immediately but in April, the staff agreed to continue withholding their services until Munlo clarifies it.
The staff dispersed immediately after the meeting which ended around noon in readiness for Tuesday's meeting.