I want criticism – Samia tells parliament

TANZANIA’s Samia Suluhu Hassan has advised parliamentarians to constructively and critically criticize her ministers.

“I urge you to criticize us where necessary. Again very strongly, when my ministers bring things that are not clear, criticise them in a parliamentary language,” she told parliamentarians today as she made her first address to the National Assembly in Dodoma.

In her 1:32-hour address, President Samia was brief on the matter.

Many people in cities and towns were spotted listening and watching her parliamentary address in pubs, markets and other joints. It was televised live.

She also spoke of the loss- making national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), saying the government will make sure it operates effectively and profitably.

She said the ‘national air flag-bird’ company has been operating at a loss because of huge inherited debts from previous operational functions.

To make it thrive, President Samia said the government will look at some possibilities to help, including providing debt relief, some taxes and levies as is done in other countries.

She noted that the government will not allow the company to continue incurring losses after significant investments that have been made, citing that investments will also be made in acquiring human resources that have the ability to run the organization commercially.

ATCL has now owns 11 flights which were bought by cash money in US Dollar currencies by her predecessor, the late John Magufuli. The carrier has been making huge losses for five years now.

President Samia warned the critiques of her performance solely based on her female sex identity by repudiating the ideology according to which male brain is superior to female brain.

“The Almighty God did not create an inferior brain for women and a superior brain for men,” she emphatically stated.

According to Samia, male and female brains are essentially equal, except for situations where social circumstances may make it sharper for some individuals to acquire brains which have not been developed to the maximum potential.

She was responding to what she described as criticisms which are leveled against her as the critiques compare her with her predecessor, the later John Magufuli.

“Don’t expect any essential political difference between me and the late John Magufuli, as I will not spare any act of public fund embezzlements, corruption or ineptitude in office just as it was the case during the fifth phase government,” she said.

“The sex differences between Samia and Magufuli are accidental bodily attributes which will not deter me from taking bold steps against injustice and promoting national prosperity,” she added.

According to Samia, the insight of contemporary natural and social sciences has revealed a broader and deeper understanding of human sexuality, where a distinction is now made between “sex” and “sexuality.”

On one hand, she appears to argue that, the term “sex” applies to a biologically based need oriented toward procreation, pleasure and release of tension; which aims at genital activity culminating in orgasm and focuses upon erotic phenomena of a largely genital nature.

On the other hand, she appears to posit that, the term “sexuality” has a broader connotation, according to which, it is perceived as a force that permeates, influences, and affects every act of a person’s being throughout existence.

This means that, sexuality is not operative in one restricted area of life but is rather at the core and center of our total being. She agrees that, the human person is so profoundly affected by sexuality that it is considered as one of the factors which give to each individual’s life the principal traits that distinguish it.

Based on what she narrated regarding the relationship between one’s upbringing and the subsequent adult behavior, she is committed to the view that, it is from sex that the human being receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological, social and spiritual levels, make that person a man or a woman, and thereby largely condition his or her progress toward maturity and insertion into society.

She agrees that, sexuality is not some minor appendage to being human; that to be human is to be sexual; and that, sexuality is an integral dimension of human existence, as it influences the patterns of our thought, words, and deeds as it ripples through the texture of our social relationships.

She is confident that, sexuality cannot be reduced to genitality which expresses only one of its dimensions, as it is a pervasive and constitutive factor in the entire structure of human existence.

At an intellectual level, the implications of this understanding of human sexuality, as manifested by President Samia, are many. However, according to her, the implications of these patterns in the performance of her political duties, as the President, are irrelevant.

In the past, the prevailing approach reflected an understanding of sexuality as predominantly genital and generative. Such an attitude narrowly circumscribed human sexuality to an experience proper only to married people.

Consequently, the unmarried, the celibate, children, the severely handicapped, the divorced and widowed were not regarded as sexual beings. The moral ideal of such people consisted in eradicating every sexual impulse and desire.

Today, however, the understanding of human sexuality has undergone a significant and beneficial evolution.