The Definitive Constitution of the Kingdom of Burundi (French: Constitution Définitive du Royaume du Burundi; Kirundi: Ishimikiro ry’Ingoma y’i Burundi), sometimes called the “independence constitution”, was the constitution of the independent Kingdom of Burundi from its promulgation in 1962 until its suspension in 1966.
From 1919 to 1962 Burundi was governed as a mandatory territory by Belgium as part of Ruanda-Urundi. The Belgian administration exercised authority on the basis of decrees, regulations, and by-laws, but never produced a formal constitution. A provisional constitution was promulgated in November 1961. It was repealed on 30 June 1962, the day before independence.
Following adoption by the National Assembly, the constitution was promulgated on 16 October 1962 with retroactive application to 2 July. The promulgation order was signed by Mwami Mwambutsa IV, Prime Minister André Muhirwa, and Minister of Justice Claver Nuwinkware.
The constitution was largely based on the Belgian and French legal systems, both derived from the Napoleonic Code. Some provisions were taken verbatim from the Belgian constitution of 1832. It was written in French with an official translation offered in Kirundi. It consisted of 123 articles. It established Burundi as a constitutional monarchy with eight provinces: Bubanza, Bukirasazi, Bururi, Gitega, Muramvya, Muyinga, Ngozi, and Ruyigi. Article 21 declared French and Kirundi as the country’s official languages. Article 23 declared that all governmental power was derived from “the Nation”. Article 113 declared “God, King, and Burundi” to be the national motto and article 114 designated Bujumbura as the capital. Article 18 stipulated that the constitution could not be suspended.