Kenyan Joshua Waiganjo wore the full uniform of an assistant commissioner of police. To the public he appeared like he was carrying out duties that come with the job: arresting suspects, even disciplining errant officers.

Police now say that Waiganjo, though, was only pretending to be a police officer in order to extort money from civilians who prefer paying bribes to facing court action. The discovery is an indictment not only on Waiganjo but on a police force that is seen as incompetent and corrupt.

The National Police Service Commission on Tuesday suspended three senior police officers from the Rift Valley province where Waiganjo, 34, operated. The commission's chairman, Johnston Kavuludi, said Waiganjo's case has prompted officials to audit departments and weed out "ghost" officers.