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Disappearing Act

Where is Maxwell Chikumbutso?

Some time ago, I posted about the wonderful tech innovations coming out of Africa.

What I find most astounding and heartening is so many of the innovations are being developed by young people. And I mean young, from teens to those who are years away from 25. Schoolgirls who developed a water filtration system. A teen who rigged his village with scary bright motion-sensor lights to keep the wildlife away from their crops. A teen in Kenya who builds working robotic prosthetics from wood. Electric cars, miniature and full-size — built from scratch. And so, so much more.

Then there’s Maxwell Chikumbutso, a Zimbabwean inventor. Prolific, I hear. He invented a device, a serious game-changer in the energy sector. It generates electricity from radio waves. You read this right. I saw the stills and a video. Powers small electronics like televisions. Household lighting. Watching the vid of the device powering someone’s kitchen lights was incredible. The revolutionary thing is that radio waves, of course, are free. They’re everywhere, passing through me right now as I write this, and as you read it. The supply is infinite. Reading about it, I hadn’t felt this excited about anything in decades.

The wonders of the Motherland.

I posted my enthusiasm about Chikumbutso in the Afrofuturism Facebook group. A member commented that he’d died from being poisoned. Stunned me. So, I googled it. What I found out was this. In a nutshell:

In 2015, Chikumbutso and his company were invited to the US (California to be specific) to pursue his work. The article didn’t say who or what had extended the invitation. He packed up and left Zimbabwe. In 2021, he was poisoned and hospitalized.

That’s it.

News about the progress, or lack thereof, of his condition was suppressed. I was unable to find any information about him after 2021. It’s now 2023. Is Chikumbutso alive? Dead? Your guess is as good as mine.

Stinks to high heaven.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination. People who insist the U.S. moon landing is fake, a conspiracy, apparently don’t realize that in the 50+ years since 1969, of the hundreds of people who were involved — the physicists, mission control, and everybody else — no one has said a word about the landing being a hoax. Nothing. Nada. Crickets. It’s not like these people were spirited away, under a gag order on pain of death for them or their families. Many went on to have illustrious careers at NASA and elsewhere. A public claim that the moon landing was fake would be explosive, and a tattle book would be snatched up by any publisher for millions. The author would be famous. Or infamous.

Yet no one has come forward to claim the prize.

The moon landing was a scientific achievement, yes. But it was also political. The Cold War was in full effect, and the U.S./Soviet Union “space race” was going full tilt. “Beating the Russians to the moon” was the mantra of the day. A dick-measuring contest.

Chikumbutso is on an entirely different level, far higher than a moon landing. Consider this: What he invented was the holy grail for Nikola Tesla — a means to generate electricity for free. So, the crucial question to ask is who stood to lose from the invention. You don’t even have to guess. Oil producers. Natural gas producers. Big Energy. Then there are the oil producing nations, like — ahem — Saudi Arabia. Any and all of these had a vested interest in making Chikumbutso and his invention go away. For good.

A prize worth killing for.

The money that would dry up as a result? A 1 followed by a big bunch of 0s. The economies of oil-producing nations would go down the toilet. Big Oil — domestic and foreign — would be forced to admit their “work” to produce clean energy is bullshit. Record profits for all going up in a puff of smoke. Or more aptly, a lightning strike.

So, was vanishing Chikumbutso a conspiracy? Maybe. Maybe not. I tend to think not because any one of those with a vested interest could’ve accomplished this without any help whatsoever. No need for a sinister, fossil fuel drenched cabal. No need to say anything to anybody. Just do it.

But somebody is responsible, and that somebody has done a damn good job of covering their tracks. The world at large has no idea if Chikumbutso is dead or alive. Or if alive, where his is. And I also think it’s odd that given the importance, the magnitude of his invention, nobody seems to be looking for him.

Yes, there’s always the possibility that Chikumbutso took the money and ran. Sure. But why poison him? We don’t even know if the poisoning happened naturally — think a really, really bad case of food poisoning — or if it was deliberate. Was the hospital staff questioned? By anyone?

Silence. Dead silence.

No information. Zip.

All I know is somebody knows where Chikumbutso is.

Where he’s living.

Or where he’s buried.


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