THE business community yesterday mourned the death of prominent Bulawayo economic analyst Eric Bloch, describing him as an astute accountant and businessman in his own right who was a valuable asset for the city he put on the map with his analytic economic prowess.
Bloch, who was a chartered accountant by profession, died at his Kumalo home on Saturday evening at the age of 75.
His funeral is set for tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at the Jewish Cemetery, North End.
As the news of Bloch’s passing spread nationwide, condolence messages poured in from the local business community.
Association for Business in Zimbabwe chief executive officer Lucky Mlilo said the death of Bloch was a big loss not only for Bulawayo but Zimbabwe as a whole.
“He was an economic advisor as well as a consultant, so his death is a big loss to us,” Mlilo said.
Affirmative Action Group vice-president Sam Ncube said Bloch was one of the business advisors of the black empowerment grouping.
“It’s a big loss to the Bulawayo business community in particular and Zimbabwe in general. He was approachable and a friend of business,” he said.
Ncube added that it was going to be hard for the country to find someone like Bloch, saying he was able to lay down his life for the revival of Bulawayo industries.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce regional marketing officer Velile Dube said Bloch played a major role in the resuscitation of Bulawayo industries, describing his death as a big blow to the business community in Bulawayo.
“It’s a very sad loss to Bulawayo because he was contributing to the revival of our industries. We have definitely lost an economic cornerstone,” Dube said.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Charles Msipha said Bloch was forthcoming with business ideas and his death was hard to believe.
“He was very generous and deeply committed economically. He was the pillar of the business community in Zimbabwe and Bulawayo in particular and we are the poorer without him. He was not shy in offering his ideas for the national growth,” Msipha said.
Bloch had been unwell for a long time. In September last year he underwent an operation for an undisclosed ailment.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said the city and Zimbabwe had lost a huge asset.
Financial and business journalists canvassed by Southern Eye Business noted that Bloch was readily available to offer analytical comments on the economy.
Business writer Jonah Nyoni said Bloch was a mentor and an adviser to most businesses and financial journalists.
“There are doors that I would not have entered if I had not met this man. He opened them to me and that helped me see the world of executives, captains of industry and great business men and women,” Nyoni said, adding that Bloch endorsed his first book called The Big You.
“I was an avid follower of his column in the Independent. He has left positive footprints on this planet.”
Bloch sat on several company boards, including that of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. He was actively involved as a commentator in Zimbabwe’s macro and microeconomic environment for a long time.
Bloch is survived by three sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.