As unbelievable as the headline seems, it is in fact true. Noela Rukundo turned at a funeral organized to mourn her when her husband’s paid plan to have her killed did not go as planned.
What Caused It?
It is unclear what caused the assassination attempt, but Noela remembers how it began. The couple traveled to their native country, Burundi to attend the funeral of her step mother. After the event, Noela retreated to her hotel room where she decided to take a rest. She recalls her husband, Balenga Kalala calling her and telling her to go out for some fresh air. Unbeknownst to her, there were gunmen waiting for her outside the hotel and she was kidnapped.
She was taken to a building blindfolded and tied to a chair. There, she heard the voice of her husband asking her captors to kill her.
Having received a ransom from Kalala, the kidnapers decided not to kill her because they knew her brother. Two days later, they left her by the road side with a phone, recordings of their conversations with Kalala and $7000 receipts for the money they received from her husband, Kalala. “We just want you to go back, to tell other stupid women like you what happened,” Noela recalls them saying.
With help from Belgian and Australian embassies, Noela was able to return home to Melbourne. She also narrated her ordeal to her pastor, who helped her get back to her neighborhood without alerting Kalala.
Kalala had been telling his neighbors that he lost his wife in a tragic incident in Burundi. He even planned a burial ceremony. I bet that it never crossed Kalala’s mind that his wife will show up at the burial, and not from the grave but real life.
As Noela approached her husband, she recalls him having a look of horror on his face.
“Surprise! I’m still alive” she told him, “you are a wicked man. Why did you want me to be killed? What about your small children? Who was going to look after them?”
Kalala at first denied her allegations but later begged his wife claiming it was the devil. “Sometimes Devil can come into someone, to do something, but after they do it they start thinking, ‘Why I did that thing?’ later,” He said.
He pleaded guilty in court and was convicted of incitement to murder and sentenced to nine years in prison.