Zimbabweans are mourning the passing on of prominent Bulawayo-based economic commentator Eric Bloch. He was 75.
Bloch, who was a chartered accountant by profession, died at his Kumalo home on Saturday evening.
According to his son Mark, the renowned economist and regular Zimbabwe Independent newspaper columnist died peacefully at around 7:30pm.
“We are all very saddened by the passing away of my father. He passed away after a prolonged illness,” he said.
“I was on his bedside when he passed away at home. He will be really missed by many in the country.
“He obviously was very grateful of the support and kindness which was shown to him.
“It’s probably the end of an era in the passing on of Bloch. Hopefully he left a legacy to all those who worked and respected each other, so that others can make a difference. We are all really going to miss him.”
Mark said burial arrangements were still being finalised and it should be either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Bloch had been unwell for a long time and he was hospitalised in September last year before undergoing an operation for an undisclosed ailment.
This forced him to miss some of his private and public engagements, including penning his weekly column.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said the city and Zimbabwe as a whole had lost a huge asset.
“Bloch was a very prominent intellectual who would advise on what to do. He was an asset to council, an asset to Bulawayo and Zimbabwe as a whole,” he said.
“His death is shocking in a way. He had a sharp mind and is really going to be missed by Bulawayo, particularly the business community.”
Former Education minister David Coltart said Bloch’s death was a loss to the whole nation.
“He was a beacon of moderation and sense; a very sensible, balanced, fair and bold man,” he said.
“He would speak up steady and in a balanced way and could compliment other people.
“He didn’t criticise other people, but policies. To that extent, he was non-partisan and was a person you would trust as he had no political interests.
“He was a man of integrity, humble and exemplary. He lived a modest and truthful life. He had one wife and drove a modest vehicle.”
His wife of 50 years, Baileh, died three years ago after she suffered a heart attack while having lunch.
Bloch became synonymous with the National High Schools Quiz that aired on local television from the late 1980s into the 1990s. The programme generated a lot of interest among viewers and inspired learners and parents.
It gave both parents and learners an idea of which school was good in sciences, arts, humanities or commercials.
Bloch is survived by three sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.