24.05.2005 General News

Hotel Kufuor: President Bought it, Not Son

By Ghana Palaver
Hotel Kufuor: President Bought it, Not Son
LISTEN MAY 24, 2005

... Chief Kufuor was just a front ... Where did JAK get the US$2,5 Million? Accra, May 24 (Palaver/JoyOnline) -- Ms Gizelle Yajzi, one time advisor to President Kufuor, has said in a radio interview that, the controversial hotel next to the president's private residence is the property of the President and not his son. Ms Yajzi claims the president discussed the purchase of 'Hotel Kufuor' with her as far back as September 9, 2001 and she was personally responsible for negotiating the deal on behalf of the president. As an adviser, she said, she advised the President against buying the hotel, but she could not force him against his will. She advised against the purchase of the unfinnished hotel, because she did not think the salaries of both the President and his son could finance the purchase of the hotel. Madam Yajzi said she was first approached by president Kufuor for a loan of $5million to purchase the hotel, but after she made it clear she couldn't finance the purchase, she was tasked to negotiate on behalf of the president. She says she secured the deal for $3million after several meetings between herself, the president's son, 'Chief' Kufuor and the owner of the hotel, Saude. She insists that president Kufuor's son fronted for him. She however said she is aware that US$2,500,000.00 (two million, five hundred thousand dollars) has already been paid to the owner. Tape recordings of all the negotiations that she did at the time could be made available if the law requires her to so. Ms Yajzi said, adding that, "...otherwise, all that happened was a private matter" “I will never say anything that I don't have proof of, I have even brought people from Europe to Ghana to visit the hotel. They are lying to the people of the country, the owner of the hotel is John Agyekum Kufuor who is the President of Ghana,” she says. When asked if she can prove that the President indeed owns the hotel, Ms Yejzi says, “ I am going to tell you, the President is not going to put the hotel in his name. Look I have the tape with every conversation made with John Agyekum Kufuor, even the private ones.” Presidential spokesperson, Kwabena Agyapong says the suggestion by Madam Yajzi that president Kufuor son's was fronting for his father was false. “The transaction is between two individuals of this country, no state resources have been lost and no state resources have been used, what is the public interest? He asks. He says, “The issue of advises or transaction advises is something normal. Presidents sometimes employ Ghanaians even for international transactions and the fact that she say she will help this government get international credit from the Spanish and Kuwait governments does not make her a full time adviser to the president.” “The NDC's mouthpiece, the Democrat has been suggestive that the hotel is owned by President Kufuor and that he is using his kid as a front is not true, I am saying it is not true, he says. Palaver has promised to publish a full text of the Radio interview on Friday.

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