Honour Eric Bloch

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BULAWAYO will today bid farewell to one of its greatest sons Eric Bloch who died on Saturday.

Bloch’s death, although it was known that he had been unwell for some time, shocked many and there has been an outpouring of grief.

There appears to be unanimity that Bloch was not an ordinary man. His contribution to the body of knowledge in the economics arena was simply unparalleled with his column that appeared regularly in the Zimbabwe Independent.

Bloch was an advisor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and sat on many company boards where he selflessly shared his expertise.

The older generation would remember him as the face behind the very popular National School Quiz competition.

It was such competitions that put Zimbabwe on the pedestal as one of the most literate countries in Africa and helped build a human resource base that is the envy of many.

Bloch was also synonymous with a number of social responsibility programmes and had emerged as a voice to reckon with in the campaign to resuscitate Bulawayo’s industries.

However, he passed on without any due recognition being accorded to him.

One of the shortcomings we have as a country is that we do not celebrate our heroes while they are still alive and when they are remembered the criteria used to honour them is usually divisive.

In the case of Bloch it would have been folly to expect the government to accord him national hero status, but this is the honour that he deserves.

Therefore, this means that the Bulawayo City Council and tertiary institutions in and around the city have the obligation to do what the government cannot do at national level.

Bloch deserves to have a street or avenue named after him in Bulawayo to remind future generations of the sacrifices he made for the city.

The council can also name certain landmarks after this great son of the city and the same goes for tertiary institutions.