She said a scarf was put over her face before she was taken to a building and tied to a chair. “Is it a ghost?”
It’s a story as old as time-boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy hires hit men to murder girl, girl surprises him at her funeral by saying: “Surprise!”
The saga started nearly a year ago, when Rukundo had flown from Melbourne to Burundi to attend her stepmother’s funeral.
Her husband called her while she was resting in the hotel room and urged her to go outside and get some fresh air.
“Don’t scream“, she recalled him saying. “If you start screaming, I will shoot you. Then he start screaming, ‘I’m sorry for everything'”. After an attack of conscience, they let her go, and told Kalala that the deed had been done.
“I said to myself, I was already dead”.
“What are you talking about?“. We get that you didn’t kill her and that’s cool, but there’s no need for name calling.
Rukundo said she had no idea what they meant, so one of the gunmen called the man who’d put a hit on her. Luckily, it was against the hitmen’s policy to kill women, and they just so happened to know her brother. The criminals, hired by her husband to kill her, spared her life, however, explaining that they didn’t kill women and children.
They even gave her the evidence to incriminate her husband, including recordings of phone conversations and records of the $7,000 payment in wire transfers.
The Age reports that she sought help from the Kenyan and Belgian embassies to return to Australia.
“She said they told her: “‘Your husband is serious.
Recounting the encounter she told the Washington Posthe said: “Is it my eyes?”
She described how the gang told her: ‘You must learn something: you people get a chance to go overseas for a better life.
“When I get out of the vehicle, he saw me straight away”, Rukundo told the BBC in an interview.
Three days later, on 22 February 2015, Noela was back in Australia, close to her home in Melbourne. For one Australia woman, the answer is pretty clear: Crash your own funeral just to fuck with him. He pleaded guilty and is now serving a nine-year sentence in Melbourne.
Or that Rukundo confronted Kalala at her own funeral before she had him locked up for his murderous plot?
Kalala had told his friends and neighbors that Rukundo had died in a awful accident while visiting relatives in her native Burundi. He had paid to have her killed. Justice Marilyn Warren told the news outlet, “It was premeditated and motivated by unfounded jealousy, anger and a desire to punish Ms. Rukundo”.
Noela continues to suffer nightmares and has since been ostracised by many in Melbourne’s African immigrant community, painting a somewhat bleak picture for her – and her eight children’s – future in the country. She said, “My situation, my past life?”