The Harare City Council says it will relocate thousands of Hopely residents who have been staying illegally in the area for 17 years.

The sprawling suburb has no proper ablution facilities or tapped water and also lacks proper roads, hence the move to relocate the residents to a well planned residential area.

This came out during a tour by the Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province, Cde Miriam Chikukwa and Harare City Council representatives.

Harare City Council Acting Town Clerk, Engineer Hosiah Chisango said Hopley residents have been staying illegally in the area.

“We are relocating them because they stayed illegally where there are no facilities,” he said.

Councillor for ward 1 in Harare South, Rai Gwenambira said residents of Hopley have been facing various challenges for the past 17 years.

“There is no tapped water, sewage pipes and no proper roads due to illegal settlement,” he said.

Minister Chikukwa said they will ensure a smooth relocation exercise for the benefit of residents.

“As the government, we are committed to assist he residents in order for them to be safe,” she said.

Although thousands of people are set to be relocated, the million dollar question to the city authorities is why they allowed the illegal settlement for over 17 years and where they will settle the thousands who had made Hopley their home.