From Owen Miyanza in Brussels, Belgium
The Catholic Church in Rome has stopped their Zambian Nun who is a nominee in the Harubuntu Awards from travelling to Brussels. The awards ceremony is taking place this evening in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
Marie-Claire Mwenya from the City of Hope in Lusaka is one of the nominees for the 2010 Harubantu Award. She entered her project called Changamuka a local language word meaning ‘wake up.’ The objective of her project is to restore the dignity of the needy women of Lusaka.
Zambian journalist Owen Miyanza who is covering the event reports that Marie-Claire was expected in Brussels by Saturday but there were instructions from her superiors in Rome that she should not travel. This was despite having had all travelling arrangements done.
Lusaka had allowed her to travel so she went ahead obtaining her VISA and the organizers had booked her flight and accommodation. This has caused panic at the last minute to have a representative travel as it would require obtaining a VISA.
Efforts to have a white Nun who doesn’t need a visa travel failed as the organizers refused.
Both Marie-Claire and organisers of the awards, Eco-Communications based Belgium have confirmed the development.
The reasons for stopping the Nun are not yet known. When contact Marie- Claire refused to give the reasons.
Zambia is the first and only nominee at the annual event that is dominated by French speaking countries from Africa.
Meanwhile Owen reports that the procession is underway and the awards shall be at 19:30 Zambian time. Over 160 people with 25 from Africa are attending the event.