Looks like things get pretty wild down under as this couple navigates all things love and assassination.
Noela Rakundo recalls the events that took place just a year ago when on a visit back home to Burundi for a funeral, her husband had orchestrated her murder. She says that she was so distressed from the loss of her stepmother that her husband, Balenga Kalala, told her to step outside to get some fresh air, but that wasn’t all he was hoping she’d get.
Rukundo, the mother of eight children, says as soon as she stepped outside a man with a gun came after her, but told her not to scream or else he’d be forced to kill her. She didn’t scream and the man took her away, blindfolded, to a building where the other men who were paid to kill her waited. When she arrived they told her what this was all about, but she couldn’t believe that the man she’d spent ten years with, and had three babies with, would want to kill her. That is until the laughing men called Kalala for further instruction and his chilling voice came through the speakerphone, “Kill her.”
Rukundo says she fainted at this point (I did too, tbh) but when she came to, the men said they weren’t going to kill her because killing women isn’t their style; besides, they knew her brother. However, they did cash in those seven thousand Australian dollars, and then set her free a few days later.
Rukundo says they sent her back with the intention that she would inform other “stupid women” like her so that these men wouldn’t keep receiving these assignments. The implication that these types of transactions are rather prevalent is confounding enough, but it was the strength that carried Rukundo back home to Melbourne and to her funeral that’s really astonishing.
At this point, Kalala is back home in Melbourne telling everyone that his beloved wife died in a tragic accident, and had the community mourning her loss in their family home. Rukundo waited for most of the neighbors to leave when she confronted her husband, who’s horror anyone would have paid big money to see.
“Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?” he questioned as the mother of his children approached him in the flesh.
Rukundo says she knew he was a violent man, but never thought he’d pay to have her murdered. After getting a phone-recorded confession out of her husband — as he begged for forgiveness saying, “Sometimes Devil can come into someone, to do something, but after they do it they start thinking, ‘Why I did that thing?'” — he was convicted for incitement to murder.
Whether it was the devil, or his bruised ego thinking that his wife was going to leave him for another man, he’s in prison for nine years to contemplate how the devil was in the details, but God was waiting at the door.
Also, because of the way patriarchy is set up, the Congolese community in Melbourne has now turned its back on Rukundo as they don’t think she should have involved the police.