By Edward Sseninnya
Eagles' production member Ronald Mayinja in an exclusive interview with Bukedde reveals that the band, unknown to fans, collapsed four years back owing to greed among the bosses.
The revelation followed the split of the hugely successful band after singer and director Geoffrey Lutaaya broke away with his wife Irene Namatovu.
Mayinja says a selfish and greedy Lutaaya opted to leave the band after they resolved to rejuvenate the failing project by rebranding and changing leadership.
"Where we had reached we had to change the way we were doing things; we had to rebrand and change leadership and review remuneration. The four of us were in agreement but a rigid Lutaaya did not want the pay structure revised yet he was no longer singing," Mayinja revealed.
He added: "When we discovered the band was no longer profitable we called a meeting to forge a way forward.
We discussed three things; to rebrand the band and change operations; to sell it and be owned by a tycoon or allow it to collapse.
But let people know that though they have just read about this in Bukedde, Eagles collapsed about four years back because of our mistakes especially unfairness.
A singer like Harunah Mubiru raised these genuine concerns; he was hardworking yet he was among the least paid because the directors grabbed a lion's share. But you will not see this in Golden productions," Mayinja said of the new band.
Ssekamatte, Sserugga, Ssemakula and myself; we agreed to change the band name after taking a vote but Lutaaya abstained. He insisted we retain the old name yet he was no longer performing but only wanted his share as a director.
In fact for the new directors to get an equitable share we the old ones had to slash our remuneration. Even though he would not be performing, Lutaaya insisted he did not want his remuneration tampered with.
We decided we would not continue using the Eagles name and appear like we were eating from his sweat since he was instrumental in starting the band. And yet we cannot keep paying him for money he does not earn because he no longer performs.
On making Irene Namatovu, Lutaaya's wife, a director in Golden Productions, we did it in good faith so she could improve on her earnings but she has not responded yet.
Mayinja says the new band will be governed by a strict code of conduct foremost of which will be equity in remuneration.
"As directors we have been pocketing nearly 90% of the proceeds. The young members who used to earn peanuts have now come of age and can even make more money during shows outside the band. They therefore did not think it was worth it.
Now the new directors all have equal authority and 40% of the proceeds will be retained in the business," Mayinja says.
Band members wanted to destroy my family
Breakaway member Lutaaya says he recently called any woman who bares his child to come forward so he could quash rumours geared towards breaking up is marriage that were doing round among the band members.
Good enough I was alert and moved fast to quell those rumours and right now everything is fine.