06 August 2012 | By Florence Mugarula | The Citizen Members of Parliament who will be found guilty of corruption in the ongoing investigation into allegations that they received bribes from Tanesco could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to Sh3 million. According to Section 32 of the 1988 Parliamentary Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act, an MP who solicits or receives a bribe for themselves or for any other party for whatever reason could face jail time, or a fine not exceeding three million shillings, or both. The statute expressly forbids representatives from trading their influence for favour. In a brief excerpt, the Act specifically prohibits any attempts by any MP to "obtain for himself or for any other member or person a bribe, fee, compensation, reward or benefit of any kind for speaking, voting or acting" in a certain way. Speaking to The Citizen last week, the director of parliamentary business John Joel said the law would be fully applied in investigations that are underway into claims that members of the disbanded Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals were involved in shoddy dealings with some dubitable Tanesco officials. Last week the Speaker of the National Assembly. Ms Anna Makinda, created a special committee to investigate these allegations; a committee that, she pointed out, didn't include any members of the committee under probe. In the previous week, the minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo had accused some Members of Parliament of having illicit multi-million shilling dealings with Tanesco when they opposed the recent suspension of managing director William Mhando. The revelations drew the ire of the House, with MPs across party lines demanding that the "discredited" committee be disbanded. The Speaker did just that. She subsequently directed the parliamentary committee for Privileges, Ethics and Powers to investigate the matter, a decision that came under fire following allegations that some of its members also had had improper dealings with Tanesco. In the face of increasing public scrutiny, and given the gravity of the accusations, the Speaker was ultimately forced to create a special investigative sub-committee to look into the matter. "By considering the sensitivity of the matter, I hereby inform Parliament that I have decided to form a five-member sub-committee to investigate the allegations," she said. "The team will exclude all MPs who were in the parliamentary committee for Energy and Minerals because they are the ones being investigated," she pointed out. The sub-committee has been given 14 days to dig into the matter and prepare a detailed report that will be presented to the office of the Speaker before it is discussed in the House. "We want transparency in this issue so that citizens and MPs know what is going on," she said. Mlalo MP (CCM) Hassan Ngwilizi, who is also the chairman of the parliamentary committee for Privileges, Ethics, and Powers will head the investigative team. Other members of the team are Mr Gosbert Blandes (Karagwe - CCM), Mr John Chiligati (Manyoni West - CCM), Ms Riziki Juma (Special Seats – CUF) and Mr Said Arfi (Mpanda Urban - Chadema). The Speaker further outlined the terms of reference for the sub-committee and directed them to find the best way to handle these accussations against sitting members of parliament. In addition, the sub-committee would be required to go through the July 27 and July 28, 2012 Hansards to examine comments made by other MPs on the scandal and to find any that can be used as evidence in their investigation. She also gave the committee powers to interrogate any MP whose contributions during debates on the ministry of Energy and Minerals budget might be considered relevant. Both the minister for Energy and Minerals and the opposition chief whip and Singida East MP Tundu Lissu and will be among those interviewed first, according to the speaker.