Benjamin Paradza
Benjamin-Paradza.jpg
BornBenjamin Paradza
Occupation
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
Known forBeing A High Court Judge
Political partyZimbabwe United for Democracy
Spouse(s)Olga
ChildrenTakudzwa "TK" Paradza, Kuda and Fadzai

Benjamin Paradza is a former Zimbabwean High Court judge currently living in exile. He was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 2011. He is also a founding member of the political outfit Zimbabwe United for Democracy (Zunde).

In 2021, Paradza said he was an Uber driver in New Zealand and that he was pursuing a Masters degree.

Background

Benjamin Paradza fled Zimbabwe in 2006 after he was arrested on charges of corruption and perverting the course of justice.[1] Britain denied asylum to the former High Court judge, who found refuge in New Zealand. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) is believed to have facilitated Paradza's move to New Zealand from South Africa, where he had been hiding.[2]

Wife

Olga.[3]

Children

He has a son Takudzwa "TK" Paradza who is a musician.[4]

He has other children; Kuda, and Fadzai.[3]

Education

He completed a Bachelor of Law (BL Hon) and postgraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Zimbabwe. He then went on to practice law for nearly 20 years, first as a prosecutor, and then in private practice.

He joined the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in New Zealand as the inaugural Sigrid Rausing Visiting Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington for two years from June 2006 to June 2008. His fellowship ended in mid 2008 and he is now working as an employment law advocate.[5] In New Zealand, Paradza had to study for a New Zealand law degree to be admitted to the bar.[3]

Career in Zimbabwe

Paradza was appointed by Robert Mugabe as a High Court Judge in 2001.[5]

Career in New Zealand

He was admitted to the New Zealand bar on August 5, 2011.[1] In New Zealand, Paradza worked for a Porirua community law centre, as well as driving an Uber.[3]

Contribution To The Liberation Struggle

He fought in the Second Chimurenga using the name Takudzwa Nemass. He joined the war in 1978 as a Zanla soldier. [6]

Arrest

Paradza was arrested on charges of corruption and perverting the course of justice.

The charges against Paradza arose after he allegedly phoned a Bulawayo High Court judge asking him to release the passport of his friend and business partner, Russell Labuschagne. Labuschagne, who is serving a 15-year jail term for the murder of a fisherman in 2005, was being held in remand prison awaiting trial. The authorities had seized his passport and other documents so he could not abscond. Paradza was arrested in his chambers in 2003 and charged with attempting to defeat the course of justice.[7]

He skipped the country hidden in a haulage truck in 2006 just before the delivery of his sentence.[8] Paradza was eventually sentenced in absentia to three years in jail for corruption but one year was conditionally suspended. He had deposited $20 000 bail and surrendered his passport to the clerk of court in 2003.[2]

Forming Political Party

He formed Zimbabwe United for Democracy (Zunde) as the vice-president while Farai Mbira would be the president. The party was launched in Harare on May 26 2015.[9]




References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Former Zimbabwean Judge admitted to NZ Bar, Law Society, published: August 30, 2011, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zimbabwe: UK Denies Paradza Asylum , allafrica.com, published: May 17 2006, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Uber-Driving Former Judge – Happy To Be Free Of Fear, Law Fuel, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: June 1, 2021
  4. TK makes waves in New Zealand, Daily News, published: September 3, 2012, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 Benjamin Paradza, INSTITUTE FOR GOVERNANCE AND POLICY STUDIES, published: No Date Given, Retrieved: September 7, 2016
  6. Ben Paradza, Response to war veterans communiqué, The Zimbabwean, published: July 25, 2016, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  7. Mugabe erred in Paradza case says Sandura, Zimbabwe Independent, published: October 26, 2007, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  8. Suitable Kajau, ZUNDE Vice President Benjamin Paradza is a fugitive, Bulawayo24, published: May 28, 2015, retrieved: September 7, 2016
  9. Everson Mushava/Silence Charumbira, Exiled judge forms party, NewsDay, published: May 27, 2015, retrieved: September 7, 2016