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The Rotary club of Kampala was chartered by the Rotary International(RI)- as club No. 17287, on 20 May 1957.
The club owes its founding to the Rotarians in Nairobi who as far back as 1946, tried to establish a club in Kampala. The problem that the sponsoring club faced was the difficulty of finding people with relatively permanent residence in Kampala within commerce and industry professions since during the colonial days prospective Rotary members likely to be inducted into Rotary were expatriates on short tours of service. At the time of Charter, J.H. Gaunt became the first President of the Club.
The club grew steadily through the 1960's up to 1972. Nevertheless, apart from a handful of Africans, the club remained a predominantly European and Asian affair. The first African President of the Club was Serwano W. Kulubya who was President during the 1963/64 period. When Amin expelled Asians in 1972, the club suffered such severe loss of members that it was commendable that it survived at all.
The Asian exodus was followed by the departure of many European and African members. Several Ugandan Africans left because they feared for their lives. At least three club Presidents left the country before completing their term of office. Indeed several Rotarians were killed during Amin's regime which at one time branded Rotary as a Zionist and Imperialist organization. Some of the Ugandan members who remained in the country chose to keep a low profile and to attend club meetings and activities only infrequently. Many of the activities of Rotary and evening fellowship were suspended.
The most difficult period for the club was between 1974 and 1976. Thereafter, membership began to pick up again gradually, as Rotary Club of Kampala was even able to register (2) Paul Harris Fellows and could have registered (4) if only the subscriptions of the other two aspiring Paul Harris Fellows had not been frustrated by Exchange Control problems. Inspite of the problems that Rotary had gone through, the Rotary Club of Kampala boasts an impressive list of projects and has only grown from strength to strength.