Muyanga Lutaaya, one of the most recognisable faces on the Kamwokya-based NBS television has thrown in the towel. Uganda Journalists Association leader Kazibwe Bashir has taken up his two shows, One on One with Tamale Mirundi and The Eagle.
After almost 10 years, Lutaaya has been one of the last surviving founding presenters of the television station.
Reports that he is quitting TV to concentrate on his political career have been making rounds for quite some time now. However, Watchdog Uganda as usual has more insight.
Muyanga’s leaving NBS has nothing to do with joining politics much as politics is partly behind his woes. The journalist who started his career at CBS fm as a news anchor stood unsuccessfully for Member of Parliament on the Forum for Democratic change ticket. And lost. His going to court to challenge results left him with a huge debt which left him in jail. It took the intervention of friends to fundraise money to bail him out.
The embarrassment, however, didn’t leave him the same. Lutaaya who earns about Shs3 million at NBS for his two political shows, including The Eagle, asked for a pay raise from his bosses.
However, the proprietor of the TV Kin Kaliisa wasn’t satisfied that Lutaaya deserved an increment and in any case he believed the man was already overpaid vis-a-vis the workload he offers the television.
Watchdog Uganda understands that Next Media which owns the TV, has grown its wings to seven brands but Lutaaya wasn’t extending his talents beyond NBS.
The owners of the media group were left with no option but to turn down his request.
This website understands that Lutaaya was asking for Shs5 million, inadvertently to help him pay his debts amounting to over sh35 million.
Muyanga’s woes were worsened when former Akaboozi radio presenter Basajjamivule quit NBS for Baba TV owned by Jinja West MP Moses Balyeku.
Basajjamivule accused Lutaaya of unethical practices while conducting television business. Lutaaya denies the allegations and ignored Basajjamivule, on request of his NBS bosses, who believe Basajjamivule was seeking for attention. However behind Lutaata’s back, NBS started investigating him, including instituting a ‘Lifestyle audit’ on the presenter.
It was Tamale Mirundi, the former President’s spokesman who let the cat out of the bag when he told socialite Brian White that poverty was pushing the ‘One on One with Tamale Mirundi’ host out of the journalism career. He repeated the assertion on his radio shows. Tamale therefore confirms that Lutaaya was walking away from poor pay when he believed he deserved much more.
It’s for that reason, our sources have intimated to us, that Lutaaya walked away from NBS not from journalism because he was taking up another job as a manager of a television in Busoga. Two televisions have approached him including Nathan Nabeeta’s Smart television and Baba TV from which he has to make a choice depending on the deal at the table.