Last updated on September 20th, 2020 at 08:55 pm | This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.
A Burundian woman, Noela Rukundo, living in Australia confronted her husband at her own funeral following his botched attempt to have her murdered. Kalala Rukundo, Noelaâ€™s husband, later admitted to Australian authorities that he hired a gang of hit men to murder his wife while she was in Burundi attending the funeral.
According to reporting by the Washington Post, in early 2015 Noela and Kalala flew to Burundi to attend a funeral. Kalala suggested that his wife step out of the hotel for fresh air. When she went outside, a man charged at her with a gun. She was abducted by a group of three men, and moved to a building outside the Burundi capital Bujumbura.
One of Noelaâ€™s captors asked if she knew why Kalala wanted her dead. She replied, â€œwhat are you talking about?â€
She told the abductors that they were lying. They responded by calling her husband on speakerphone where he ordered them to â€œkill her.â€ Noela then told members of the media that she fainted.
However, Noela woke to find that her abductors had no intention of murdering her. According to reports, the men told her that they did not believe in killing women and that they could not because they knew her brother.
After two days, the captors released Noela on the side of a road giving her a cellphone, secret recordings they made of phone conversations with her husband, and receipts of the $7,000 Australian dollars Kalala paid them to murder her. They told Noela, â€œwe just want you to go back and tell other stupid women like you what happened.â€
Astonished, Noela reached out to her churchâ€™s pastor, Dassano Harruno Nantogmah, in Melbourne, Australia for assistance. Pastor Nantogmah told the BBC that received a call in the middle of the night from Noela saying â€œits me, Iâ€™m still alive, donâ€™t tell anybody.â€
By that time, according to Pastor Nantogmah, Kalala had informed the Melbourne community that his wife died in a â€œtragic accident.â€ Kalala was said to be hosting a stream of well-wishers, many of whom were donating money to ease his suffering.
Pastor Nantogmah helped Noela return to Australia and, on February 22, 2015, she was waiting outside her house watching her husband Kalala see off the latest group of well-wishers. According to Noela, â€œit was around 7:30pm. He [Kalala] was in front of the house. People had been inside mourning with him and he was escorting a group of them into a car.â€
â€œI stood just looking at him. He was scared. He didnâ€™t believe it. Then he starts walking towards me, slowly, like he was walking on broken glass,â€ she explained.
Noela said that her husband was astonished and started screaming, â€œIâ€™m sorry for everything.â€
After the confrontation Noela called the police who issued a court order against him. The police later instructed Noela to phone her husband and capture his confession on tape.
Kalala, who was arraigned on charges for trying to murder his wife, reportedly cried when Australian authorities confronted him with a recording of his conversations. He eventually pleaded guilty to the diabolical plot and was sentenced by a Melbourne judge to serve nine years in prison.