NTV Uganda has issued a statement explaining the recent departure of staff from the station.
At the start of October 2015, senior news reporter, Solomon Sserwanja, left the Serena based station and joined the Kamwokya based NBS TV.
Located along Kira Road, NBS owned by Kin Kariisa, a former State House staff, is showing muscle as the fastest growing local television.
Sserwanja’s exit was followed by reports indicating that senior staff including; Chrismel Wasswa, the head of news production and quality control, cameraman Geoffrey Badebye, Weekend Edition news anchor, Rukshana Namuyimba, Samuel Walugembe, the head of graphics, Sheila Mugisha, a features reporter and Maurice Ochol has also left the station.
They reportedly accused Aggie Konde, the Managing Director of the Nation Media Group owned television, for promising them salary increment without delivering.
In a statement this evening, NTV Uganda said it was clearing the impression created on various media platforms and in some dailies that “we have been ‘raided’ by another local television station, which has ‘massively’ recruited our staff”.
“Last month, we accepted the resignation of five staff members after they formally served their notice.”
The station explained that the left on mutual and amicable terms without naming them.
“NTV is not a prison. So we wish our former employees all the best in their future endeavours.”
It said the impression created that the station has lost several staff in the last few days is “false and meant to tarnish the image of the station”.
“NTV employs over 200 staff and is the best broadcast employee of choice in Uganda.”
“Please treat with contempt and suspicion any contrary communication being peddled on social media and elsewhere as we continue to Turn on Your World,” read the statement.
A dissatisfied viewer, Fred W Mutibwa, pointed out to NTV that they had “lost focus” accusing the station of allegedly making “a tribal statement” and the fact that “only Westerners especially of Ankole and Rwandese descent work on it”.
Mutibwa named the likes of
Maurice Mugisha, Nduhukire Sheila, Josephine Karungi, Tumusiime Flavia, Racheal Arinaitwe, Byaruhanga Sudhir, Uwitware and Malcom Musiime.
He called Andrew Mwenda of the news night the station’s “God Father” and accused him of “promoting the candidature of President Yoweri Museveni”.
He further accused the station of opening “propaganda on opposition” in a bid to sell Museveni to the masses.
“NBS has of recent proved to be impartial and it’s why it is picking. No doubt the owner of NBS (Dr. Anus Abudkarim Karisa) doesn’t support both Besigye and Mbabazi but has given both of them overwhelming coverage of their activities like he does for the President. Remove politics and tribalism from your station, everything will be ok,” Mutibwa advised.
The station’s social media handler shot back denying the accusation of tribalism.
The handler named Frank Walusimbi, Hatma Naluggwa, Faridah Nakazibwe, Ernest Wisdom Kiyonga, Dean Lubowa, Moses Akena, Maurice Ochol, Chris Ochamringa, Sam Mpoza, Irene Namyalo, Robert Madoi, Alfred Odong, Juma Kirya, Sam Ssetumba, Julius Ssenkandwa, Joel Khamadi, Rainer Ojon, Ingrid Nantege, Derrick Ntege, Francis Jjingo, Agnes Nandutu, Ivan Kimuli Kigozi, Joel Ssenyonyi etc, saying all these were not westerners.
“These and many more are the names of non-westerners and this is only in the newsroom (who appear on TV) there are many more in production and other technical departments.”
“Fred W Mutibwa you have the right to criticize the station but at least do so based on fact,” the hot reply noted.
It said NTV was an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate.
“We hire strictly on merit.”