|Balenga Kalala and Noela Rukundo on their wedding day.|
Kalala later plotted to kill his wife. Read on to
see how it went.
After the funeral, she was in her hotel room when her husband, Balenga Kalala called. Kalala told his wife she must have had a trying day with the funeral, and the African heat that was surely stifling her hotel room.
He suggested she go outside for a breath of fresh air. Rukundo, assuming her husband was being kind and loving, took him up on her suggestion.
Thus begins an incredible yard as told by the BBC about a woman who gets a terrible surprise, and a husband that gets an even bigger surprise. A very karmic one.
When Rukundo got outside the hotel, she was confronted by a man pointing a gun at her. He kidnapped Rokundo by stuffing her into a car and driving away.
After more than a half hour of driving the car stopped. She was led into a room and tied to a chair.
"One of the kidnappers told his friend, 'Go call the boss.' I can hear doors open but I didn't know if their boss was in a room or if he came from outside," Rokundo told the BBC.
The kidnappers asked Rokundo "What did you do to this man,' referring to a man that ordered Rokundo's kidnapping and impending murder. Then the gang's leader called the person who had ordered the gang to kill Rokundo.
The man who answered was Rokundo's husband. He had ordered the murder. Her husband's voice on the other end of the phone said, "Kill her."
Rokundo had met her husband in Australia. He was a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which he fled after rebels killed his wife and young son.
Rokundo and Kalala fell in love. She had five children from a previous relationship. The pair had three more. "I give him, beautiful and handsome, two boys and one girl. So I don't know why he choose to kill me."
It turns out the killers had some scruples, though. They made it a rule not to kill women and children. The gang extorted more money from Kalala, saying the price of the murder was up by 3,400 Australian dollars.
The gang told Rokundo to leave Burundi right away, because if her husband found out she was alive, he'd hire another gang to kill her.
The gang gave Rokundo a memory card containing recorded phone conversations between them and Kalala discussing the murder and receipts for Western Union money transfers
Says the BBC:
"''We just want you to go back to tell other stupid women like you what happened,' the gang told Noela as they parted. 'You must learn something: you people get a chance to go overseas for a better life. But the money you are earning, the money the government give to you, you use it for killing each other!'"
By the time Rukundo returned to Australia, Kalala had told everyone his wife had died in a tragic accident while in Burundi.
As the last of a group of mourners left their house, Rukundo showed up.
"I just stood looking at him. He was scared, he didn't believe it. Then he starts walking towards me, slowly, like he was walking on broken glass.
"When I get out of the car, he saw me straight away. He put his hands on his head and said, 'Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?'"
Kalala then screamed "I'm sorry for everything!!"
A few days later, Australian police told Rukundo to call Kalala, who offered a full confession to her over the phone. Police were recording it.
Kalala was sentenced to nine years in prison.
He offered a couple of vague motives. Maybe Rukundo was seeing another man. (she wasn't)
Alternatively, "sometimes the devil can come into someone to do something but after they do it, they start thinking, 'Why I did that thing.'"
The worst part of this story is the Melbourne African community is largely ostracizing Rukundo. In some socieites, especially religious or conservative ones, it's always the woman's fault, apparently.
Still she's alive, and her now ex husband is in jail.
Use this story as a cautionary tale in the unlikely event you ever want to "get rid" of a spouse
It's you that might be gotten rid of.