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US Presidential candidate with Turkana ancestry to visit Kenya

Kenya is set to host another high profile visitor –the Republican presidential contender Ben Carson.

Mr Carson said on Monday that he will make a week-long trip to Africa at the end of December, visiting three African countries just after Christmas.

The Washington Post reports that Mr Carson made the revelation to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he will visit Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia.

He said the reason for his choice was in part because of the strategic importance of those regions and because of his own family ancestry.


“I think a lot of our policy in the future is going to affect Africa, but those three in particular because my ancestors are from the Kenya-Tanzania region, the Turkana tribe. I’ve had all of that traced back,” he told Hewitt, according to a transcript of the interview.

In July, Kenya hosted US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis last month. Mr Carson has been visiting abroad to shore up his dwindling numbers, occasioned by his inexperience on foreign policy.

But Mr Carson’s insistence that there are Turkanas living in Tanzania is riddled with inaccuracies regarding the tribe.

Tanzania is located to the south of Kenya and the only pastoral tribes traversing the Kenya – Tanzania border are the Maasai and Kuria.


The retired surgeon said that while in Zambia, he will check in on two of his patients – siamese twins who he helped separate.

“They were joined at the top of the head facing in opposite directions almost 18 years ago, and this is the year they graduate from high school,” he said.

“To Nigeria, I want to get an ideal from the people what the effects of Boko Haram are, what people are thinking, to see what the economic situation is there, and also there’s a medical school there named after me which I want to visit,” added Mr Carson.

Before party primaries, candidates are not accorded security from the secret service although the department of Homeland Security can extend them such favours if they if the circumstances dictate.

Mr Carson, the author of the acclaimed “Gifted Hands” book, will leave America on December 27 and will be abroad for about one week.