The mayor of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, will have far fewer guests at his wedding than he had hoped for after the authorities restricted the number of attendees to only 300 to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

Miles Sampa booked the 10,000 seater Lusaka’s Woodlands stadium for the 26 December event after sending an open invitation to Zambians.

Mr Sampa told the BBC he had no choice but to comply with the ministry of health’s Covid-19 guidelines but said the restrictions had put him in a dilemma about who to invite:

“Our line up already has 50 people… when I add artists, security and support staff to the list, we are already towards 200 people. So who to invite and not invite was the headache I was trying to avoid.”

He said he did not want to invite “ordinary Lusaka residents” anymore to avoid accusations of favouritism, but he will award television rights to an unnamed local station.

Local companies and well wishers have been contributing to pay for the event which some have dubbed the “wedding of the year”.

But Mr Sampa has said that the money donated will be used to pay for the Woodlands stadium venue.

He also said that donated foodstuffs will be given to Lusaka residents even if it means sending “packed lunch boxes to their homes”.

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