Mbale district started in 1950 as Bugisu /Bukedi district. In 1960 Bukedi became an independent district. Bugisu district composed of Bugisu area and Sebei. In 1966, sebei district was granted following tribal clashes between the Bamasaaba tribe and the Sabiny tribe. Bugisu district had its headquarters in Mbale. The district was later named Mbale district covering the area occupied by the indigenous Bamasaaba people.
In the year 2000, Mbale district was split giving rise to Sironko district which covered North Mbale area. In 2006, Mbale district was again split to form Manafwa District which later created the Bududa and Namisindwa districts. In the year 2021 Mbale City was curved off Mbale District Local Government. The current Mbale has three constituencies of Bungokho North, Bungokho South and Bungokho Central with 14 sub counties and 3 town councils.