Kenya is vetting its 71,000 police officers in an attempt to professionalize the country's most vilified public institution, one known for corruption, impunity and human rights abuses.

The National Police Service Commission this week fired two senior officers who could not explain how they acquired property and large bank accounts.

Commissioners defying death threats say they will sack unprofessional, corrupt and unethical officers to clean up the tainted image of the police and restore confidence in the law enforcers.

Police in Kenya are under-equipped, poorly paid and live in deplorable conditions, a combination that has led to low morale and justification for bribe-taking. Most police officers earn about $200 a month.