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Zarika acquitted

NAIROBI, November 25 – Former World International Boxing Federation Bantamweight champion Fatuma Zarika has been acquitted of three immigration charges preferred against her two years ago.

Zarika had in November 2006 been charged with being in Kenya illegally, knowingly and fraudulently using a fake birth certificate in trying to secure a passport and failure to register as an alien.

The prosecution claimed before the then Nairobi chief Magistrate, Aggrey Muchelule that Zarika was a Ugandan national and called four witnesses to testify in the case.

Nairobi Resident Magistrate Rogers Fundi ruled that the prosecution failed to prove that the boxer was not Kenyan and acquitted her in what may rekindle her boxing career.

Before being charged, Zarika was detained by immigration officials at Nyayo House, Nairobi where she had gone to record a statement following claims that she was Ugandan.

The 23- year old was first arrested barely 24 hours before her world title fight but released four hours later after the intervention of the then Minister for immigration Gideon Konchellah and Makadara legislator Reuben Ndolo.

She however overcame that ordeal to knockout Paula Stankoeva of the Czech Republic and won the World title the following day.

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