KHOJA SHIA ITHNA-ASHERI HISTORY - MBALE, UGANDA
NARRATED BY MARHUM LALJI BHAI RAWJI
Laljibhai Rawji (75) of Mbale narrates the history of our community at Mbale, Uganda. He recalls the arrival at Mbale of entrepreneur Waljibhai Bhanji in 1906. At that time, there were 16 Indian shops including the famous Alidina Visram. Houses were made of mud and iron sheets. On arrival, Waljibhai applied to the District Commissioner Perryman for a plot to construct a house. Upon approval a mud house was built and this was used to start a wholesale business. Waljibhai used to trade with Mombasa in crop produce. Remtullabhai Rawji was his manager.
In 1919, they jointly opened a cotton ginnery at Budaka, a town near Mbale. In 1922, he constructed buildings and warehouses at Ladoto (22 miles from Mbale) and appointed Br. Lalji Rawji as manager.