The growth of Mbale dates as far back as the colonial period as part of the bukedi block under the british collaborator Semei Kakungulu. By the time of independence it had been split to form the Bugisu district. In the early 1980s bugisu district changed its name to mbale district comprising of a municipal council and  the rural mbaleto open up some administrative post in Serere, Gweri and Soroti areas. Part of Kakungulu’s team camped near the rock at Soroti chosen for its strategic location on defence and availability of water from the nearby streams. Under the organized and able rule of Kakungulu’s men, local inhabitants were forced to clear the forest and within a few years a large area had been cleared and considerable amount of settlement had taken place.