Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani
Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani.jpg
Known forDying in police custody

Hilton Tafadzwa Tamangani was a man who died in custody at Harare Remand Prison in OCtober 2019, following his arrest the previous week. He was a street vendor in Harare. He had been arrested along with other people on unclear charges.


On 13 October 2019, Tamangani was arrested along with 110 other street vendors near the MDC headquarters in central Harare. The arrest was part of a police crackdown that followed the recent discovery of old police helmets at a nearby building. It later turned out that the helmets were actually legitimately owned by an individual who had purchased them at an auction.

The 11 were reportedly beaten and tortured in police custody.

They were represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

On 18 October, ZLHR lawyers wrote to

Officer In Charge Harare Remand Prison Harare

Dear Sir/madam


We refer to the above matter wherein we act for and on behalf of our client, Hilton Tamangani on whose instance we address you. Kindly note our professional interest herein.

Our client has advised us that he has developed a fatal infection whilst being medically attended to at your premises, Harare Remand Prison Clinic. In the premises, we are approaching your office to request that our client be attended to by a private doctor of his choice. Our client undertakes to pay the requisite medical cost.

We look forward to your usual co-operation.

Yours faithfully,

Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere

ZLHR Letter


Tamangani died on 19 October 2019. It was widely reported that his death was due to the torture he had endured at the hands of the police following his arrest.

His death was publicised on Twitter on Saturday 19 October 2019, by ZLHR which tweeted:

We are saddened to hear about the passing on of our client Hilton Tamangani at Harare Remand Prison after he was arrested last week&tortured by ZRP. We did all we could to have Hilton treated by private doctors but ZPCS could not entertain our request. MHDSRIP

Later the government, using the Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting, tweeted:

Govt would like to inform the public of the death in custody of an individual who was on remand in the custody of Prisons and Correctional Services. The individual was remanded in a condition of unwellness and immediate medical care was sought for him and he was hospitalised.

He was attended to by doctors. All deaths in custody are thoroughly investigated. We now await the result of a postmortem to ascertain cause of death. We wish to convey our condolences to the bereaved family and friends of the deceased. May his soul rest in peace.[1]

Hilton Tamangani's Son following his father's death

The other vendors arrested alongside Tamangani had bail secured for them by ZLHR two days later on Monday, 21 October 2019.


  1. Govt would like to inform the public of the death in custody of an individual , Twitter, Published: 19 Oct 2019, Accessed: 21 Oct 2019