By Our Reporters
A few days ago we published a comprehensive article on Simon Muyanga Lutaaya’s impending departure from NBS TV where he has served in various capacities for 11 years. Some dismissed it as wolokoso but this Sunday evening, NBS has aired Muyanga’s interview bidding farewell to the leading TV station’s audiences. He appeared on the Masengejje where his journey began as a news anchor in 2008. Like we reported, he explained that his departure was sparked by many things including desire to do several other things to increase his disposable income to be able to pay off Kenneth Lubogo’s and other people’s debts which he said continue to give him sleepless nights. “Sometimes you go to [NBS to] work and you are unsure whether you aren’t going to be arrested and fail to return home,” Muyanga said in the NBS interview. Whereas he continues keeping his cards close to his chest, some unconfirmed reports indicate that Muyanga might accept a top management position with another media house (most likely a TV) which will pay off all his debts on top of paying him much more in monthly salary than the Shs3m Kin Kariisa’s NBS has been paying him. Muyanga explained that the Shs51m debt which caused him to be jailed sometime last year by rival Lubogo has led him into many other indirect debts which have continued making his space to shrink. He said he is returning to Bulamogi to live with his family and voters more closely as he mobilizes for 2021 when there is a big likelihood he will win the Bulamogi County MP Seat for his FDC party. Saying even in 2016 he won but was rigged by Lubogo and his NRM party, Muyanga said “the best time to interact with voters is Sunday when there are fundraisings which I have been missing out on a lot because of the nature of my work at NBS.”
In a related development, the NBS management has intensified efforts to find suitable replacement for Muyanga. This has seen the head HR reach out to a number of seasoned political show hosts persuading them to take up the deal. Inside sources say in all these efforts, BBS’ Maaso ku Gwanga program is being seen as something that must be neutralized to check on the threat Buganda kingdom’s BBS TV is beginning to pose. This explains why its moderator Steven Dunstan Busuulwa features on the list of moderators NBS wanted to woo into its territory in order to fill the Muyanga vacuum. Knowledgeable sources say that Busuulwa (akwagaliza byonjagaliza) has been targeted for poaching for many other reasons beyond just taming BBS which is deriving great mileage from him. “He has hosted Tamale Mirundi, who is a complex character, longer than any other moderator on Top Radio without incident. Mirundi is very complex and [the NBS] management fears he might quit protesting the choice of Muyanga replacement in case they come up with someone he isn’t comfortable with. That’s where Busuulwa had been rated highest,” says a knowledgeable source. “The talks were on to win over Busuulwa and management had made generous offers but it remains unclear why the deal collapsed.” Some sources say that having to host only Mirundi on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then only Harold Kaija and Rogers Mulindwa on Sundays for NBS Eagle (without having the leverage and flexibility to host other people of his choice) frightened Busuulwa as he saw it as diminishing his political network which he is expanding with a view of having many allies as he prepares to battle Peter Sematimba in Busiro South. “At BBS he has a free hand and can invite anyone he wants unlike the NBS deal that comes with better pay and better terms but deprives him to host different panelists. This must be the reason why he declined and talks collapsed leaving the [NBS] HR stranded,” says a source that is deeply knowledgeable on the media landscape. The other moderator that could potentially have replaced Muyanga is Peter Kibazo who management gave up on after being reminded he is one person Mirundi passionately hates because he says he betrayed him when still working on WBS. Mirundi was bitter when a recording of his show with Kibazo on WBS ended up before the President as evidence that he was in the habit on going on air when heavily intoxicated. The other potential candidate would have been CBS’ big man Dr. Samuel Kazibwe who too wasn’t pursued much because it was realized Mirundi can’t accept being moderated by someone with CBS/Mengo background or connections because even Busuulwa initially suffered diminished Mirundi trust the moment he accepted a slot on BBS where Joel Kigozi, Kariisa’s 2nd in command at NBS, previously worked as CEO. Before settling on Bukedde radio’s Kazibwe Bashir, the NBS management had considered hiring Pearl FM’s Mohamood Nyombi who perfectly hosts Tamale Mirundi on Saturdays. Nyombi was considered suitable because his Pearl FM has a very strong relationship with Next Media which owns the NBS Empire. Muyanga officially signs out on Wednesday 30th December. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.