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26.05.2005 General News

Hotel Kufuor: More Questions

By JOY ONLINE

Accra, May 26 (JoyOnline) --An all-out effort has been launched from President Kufuor's camp to disentangle him from the web of controversy spun by the purchase of a multi-storey hotel edifice to which he's been linked.

First it was Chief of staff, Kwadwo Mpiani with a press statement, which sought to distance the President from the purchase.

That was preceded by Presidential spokesman Kwabena Agyapong's radio rebuttal, which have now been capped by a statement from a member of the President's party who coincidentally is the son-in-law of the original owner of the hotel.

But it appears many more loose ends are yet to be tied up… especially the woman who stops short of saying she was his mistress but was acknowledged as the President's advisor.

Gizelle Yajzi maintains the President owns the hotel structure because she was authorized by him to negotiate a good price for the building, which was to be converted into a hotel.

She claimed on Joy FM that the president discussed the purchase of the hotel with her in September 2001 and asked her to personally negotiate a deal for him.

“I have letters and emails from his son to me, everything. The owner of the hotel is John Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana,” she says.

Her story may be believed because of her acknowledged former job as advisor to the President.

With relatively little known about her origins despite claims to experience in international loan financing, Presidential spokesman Kwabena Agyapong says it's her word against the President.

“President Kufuor has not bought any hotel as being suggested by the Democrat, the Palaver, the Lens and his son is involved in the transactions,” he says.

Chief of staff 's statement says the President never sought to buy the hotel under any guise and did not request anybody to negotiate its purchase on his behalf.

The latest to join in the effort to exonerate the President is the MP for Afigya Sekyere East, son-in-law of Anthony Saude who owns the multi storey hotel.

“I think Chief Kufuor became surprised. The topic was changed and so that means the woman was representing herself. He (Chief Kufuor) didn't say anything, he was looking at the woman who was doing the talking,” he says.

David Yeboah's statement raises more questions.

Why would the President's son, Chief, introduce an investor to the owner of the hotel that he himself is interested in and go into the negotiations with her looking on and butting in?

Did a higher authority mandate her? If so, then who? The president as she claims? How did she come in as an investor? Any why then didn't she proceed to met the owners of the property to negotiate independently? Did she need Chief Kufuor to introduce her? It appears the unending questions only prompt more responses that further ensnare the President and his son. Where and when does it end?

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