Emotional send-off for Eric Bloch

BULAWAYO - Renowned economic commentator Eric Bloch was laid to rest at the Jewish section of Athlone Cemetery in Northend suburb yesterday with tributes pouring in from various sectors.

Mourners drawn from across the corporate world, political and religious divide converged to pay their last respects to Bloch.

Notable people who attended the funeral were ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda, Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo, Mavambo leader Simba Makoni and former Education minister David Coltart, among others.

Australian and German ambassadors to Zimbabwe were also part of the mourners.

Bloch, who was 75, died in his sleep after a long illness at his Kumalo home on Saturday night.

The funeral service was conducted according to Jewish tradition and those leading the procession indicated that last night was Jewish New Year’s eve.

He was laid to rest alongside his parents Hans and Elfriede.

Bloch’s son Mark was full of praise over the legacy left by his father.

“The care and love we have seen in the past years is amazing,” he added.

“He liked his country and people within. We only hope that his legacy will continue to be carried forward into the future,” he said.

In his speech just shortly before burial, mayor Martin Moyo said Bloch was Bulawayo’s illustrious son.

“He was an illustrious son of the city of Bulawayo and we feel humbled for the man who gave this city an honour. He was a patriot through and through,” Moyo said.

“He was a successful businessman whose advice was sought-after in the city. He believed in the revival of the city and the nation at large,” the mayor said, adding that Bloch was a “community builder and a philanthropist”.

In his eulogy, Gono said he had become a family friend and a brother to Bloch who was an adviser to the RBZ during his term as the central bank governor.

He said Bloch was an eternal optimist.

“He was a mentor in many areas of personal and professional life. If at all, Eric erred in his economic thinking, he was always on the side of the poor, the disadvantaged, on the side of business, investors and the prosperity of Bulawayo.

“In him, I met a man who loved his Bulawayo city, fiercely patriotic and a man who hated any form of injustices regardless of who perpetrated it,” said Gono.

“I was one of those who Eric would not tire in telling that it was in the early 60s that as a young chartered accountant he challenged the white minority regime of the time by calling out publicly for them to end minority rule.”

Bloch was a regular newspaper columnist who dedicated his life to analysing Zimbabwe’s complex political and economic problems.

Since the death of the economic stalwart tributes have been pouring in from across all sectors of the economy as well as from ordinary residents.

Many have described him as a pillar and economic thinker who pushed for the economic revival of the country, particularly Bulawayo industries.

Bloch was born on April 2, 1939 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and later relocated to Bulawayo as a child with his parents.

His wife, Beileh, died aged 75 in July, 2011 after suffering a massive heart attack while having lunch.

He leaves behind three sons and one daughter.


Comments (2)

Obviously Gono didn't take any of Bloch's advice otherwise he wouldn't have ruined the economy through his nefarious activities at the RBZ.

saundy - 25 September 2014

A true hero and a true hero will never die rest in peace son of the soil

vince - 27 September 2014

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