Economist Eric Bloch dies

RENOWNED economist and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) former advisor Eric Bloch has died.

SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
STAFF REPORTER

Bloch died at his Bulawayo home on Saturday night after a long battle with cancer.

He was 75.

His son, Mark, who had flown in two days earlier from his Scotland base, told NewsDay that his father had not been well since last December.

“He has not been well since last December and the past weeks, it got worse and he eventually died yesterday [Saturday] past 7pm,” he said.

“He began showing signs of tiring and after the death of my mother, he was lonely.”

Mark is one of Bloch’s four children, with the eldest Raphi (50) based in Israel, Barry (46) in Australia and last born Ruth (43) in London.

“My father began working at the age of 16 and trained as an accountant, but later worked as a consultant in finance and economics,” Mark said.

“Everyone I have spoken to in the last two days says he has helped many people and influenced many young people. Hopefully, he leaves a legacy for the people and hopefully the government builds an economic legacy.”

He said they were hoping his burial would be on Wednesday morning although they were yet to come up with solid plans, pending the arrival of Barry, and Ruth.


“I just wish I had been here earlier. My father was the eternal optimist and he gave his all to try and get Zimbabwe back on its feet. He was the most generous man I have ever known — it may not have been money, but he was always willing to help — and I know there were always very important
visitors at home to talk to my father.

“Apparently, he was once an advisor at the RBZ and he was always committed to this country and its people.”

Fellow economist John Robertson told NewsDay that he was saddened by the passing on of Bloch whom he had known for many years.

He said Bloch, who was a chartered accountant by profession, had an enormous integrity, was very knowledgeable and had an incredible memory.

“He used his experience to the advantage of many people and he leaves a legacy in the business sector in which he played an enormous role,” Robertson said.

“He was a family man, a professional and he is going to be seriously missed.

“I knew he had been handicapped health wise for three or four years but he has continued to work hard, writing his weekly column and other business.

“He did decent work. He was a chartered accountant and he did a lot more that I do as clients approached him for accounts, legal and economics advice while I only deal with economics.”

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe president Charles Msipa said Bloch was deeply committed to the economics of Zimbabwe.

“He was generous with his time and knowledge and a great supporter of the CZI. We are all the poorer with Dr Bloch’s death.”

Bloch lost Baileh, his wife of 50 years, in July 2011 to a heart attack.

In 2013, the Bulawayo-based economist was hospitalised and had to go under the knife for an undisclosed ailment.

In the past months, his health had deteriorated as he struggled to fulfil his commitment to his column in our sister paper, the Zimbabwe Independent, where his articles had a huge readership.

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56 Comments

  1. RIP kind Dr Sir

    1. Was greatly shocked of the death. My deepest and kind condolences
      to the family and business sector. Was a pillar of research and analysis
      on the dangerous ,volatile and embarassing economics of zimbabwe in
      the last two decades.
      Gave wise advice which was rejected by fate,if only they had listened 20
      years ago we would not be in this mess.
      Otherwise thank you very much for your valuable contribution,helped us
      a lot in our studies.
      Rest in peace sir.

  2. R I P Eric we will sadly miss u

  3. Rest in peace Great Economist Bloch. May your soul find eternal rest in heaven. We have been robbed of your insightful economic analysis and brilliance. We will miss your column and your words as Chinamasa and his FATHER leads this country into the abyss! Your words will come back to haunt us. Your advise was spot on and right. But with Mugabe at the helm, your wise words were not heed.R.I.P

  4. R.l P Eric you were truly a wonder, parliamentary budget seminar will never be the same without your invaluable contributions.

  5. One of the last voices of sanity in Zimbabwe has fallen silent. His words of wisdom will be sorely missed, if not by those who rule Zimbabwe, certainly by those who worry about the country’s future. RIP.

  6. Rest in Peace Mr Bloch… Will greatly be missed

  7. Greately missed rest in eternal piece

  8. This is sad news indeed. A humble man hoping for the best for this country through his frankness has gone silent without seeing the fruits of his economic labor. Those who have molested this country’s economy to its knees know in their hearts of hearts what a sad loss indeed it is.

  9. Indeed sad news to th greast economist of our time.u will remain in our memory forever.rest in peace.thnkx for your great contribution in zimbabwe indeed

  10. Another one bites the dust he heee..a good rhodhie is a dead rhodhie

    1. Yours is a delusional comment by a Zanu PF sycophant. May you be forgiven for your racist rant which only exposes how you can’t separate the forest from trees.

    2. Gerro, i hope people show you the same respect in your passing. You show the worst in what Zimbabwe has to offer.

  11. Go well Dr Erich Bloch. Your articles meant well for Zimbabwe. Till we meet again Cde

  12. Go well Dr Erich Bloch. Your articles meant well for Zimbabwe. Till we meet again Cde. By the way cant we give a liberation war hero status? Why? For his contribution to the RBZ during Dr Gideon Gono’s term as one of its advisors?

    1. …give him…

  13. I still remember the last time I talked to him. It was in 1990 when I was in U6 participating in Lions Club of Norah Valley’s national high schools quiz at Belverdere Teacher’s College. He was indeed generous with his time and effort. Rest in peace Eric.

  14. A true and humble patriot. RIP

  15. @gerro you fit in the ranks of ISIS

  16. This is sad news indeed. A humble man hoping for the best for this country through his frankness has gone silent without seeing the fruits of his economic labor. Zimbabwe will miss you dearly R.I.P DR Bloch

  17. prince dube (nust )

    A very sad day to my profession RIP mr C.A hope we will have more dedicated C.Az like him #respect#

  18. Chris Blessing Banda

    May his soul rest in peace Mr Bloch we will always cherish the good work you did in our country as a professional Economist and we will always miss your Presence yu’ve been so good to us may the Lord be with you always.

  19. Since the inception of the Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper, more than a decade ago, I have never missed the weekly paper. Each time I buy the paper, before even reading the Headlines, I firstly read page 12, the Eric Bloc column.
    To be honest I am devastated and Dr Bloc has left a legacy that will leave on and on.
    Rest in peace and you will always be remembered.

  20. Economic pessimist and prophet of doom….the Maynard Kaynes of our dark past and ghost of Adam Smith. Yes outspoken and sometimes even dabling in Zim’s tribal issues and daring to touch our sacred tribal drums with settler descendant hands dripping with the blood of our people albeit the Scotish quest for independence remaining the burden of true patriots from Kilmanock three centuries plus (and counting)…………..ngakaeeeeeeeeeeeeende! Perhaps in his memoirs will we find shreds of contemporary economic sense and not the supply side dribble he fed the gullible amongst us. Ngakaeeeeende!!

    1. You can’t deny he was right

    2. @Don I think you are bitter for coming last in the high school quiz.

  21. Eish, we are now much poorer as a nation. Despite losing his wife, he still had the heart to serve a nation that is bordering on being a hopeless case. May your soul rest in peace Dr Bloch, you were one of a kind; definitely one of a kind!!
    *Salute

  22. REST IN PEACE MR BLOC SCHOOL QUIZ WILL NEVER BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU.

  23. with all the riches the guy drove a simple hundui excel of many years ago. no thief at all like our rulers now Don. yes Mark for some us he has left a legacy.A wonderful lessons to learn.

  24. I was shocked to see such bady news on the Newsday paper. May your soul rest in peace

  25. A farewell to a National Hero.

    1. I am priviledged to have met Dr Bhloc. He was a true patriotic.Go thee well son of the soil.

  26. Please can someone clarify. Was Erich an accountant or an economist? I think I remember Prof Hawkins saying he was an accountant.

  27. Will miss his column. RIP Eric.

  28. Zim is poorer without u.Safe travels.

  29. How sad to hear ’bout the passin on of the great economist/chartered accountant of our generation.R.I.P Dr Bloch.

  30. Some of us met him in real life. Such a brilliant fellow. Always very clear and cogent in his discussions. Will miss his column in the Indep.

  31. ummm this is a great loss to the entire country. My heart is aching. He was great man for sure. We shall miss your wisdom and lovingkindness.May His Soul Rest in Peace

  32. RIP Eric Block. Your legacy will forever be cherish.

  33. One only remembers what true talent Zim was blessed with when it passes. Totally shattered, but life goes on. Go well Mr Bloch.

  34. Thanks to Eric for trying so hard for more than 30 years to give decent economic advice. What a shame people like him are not listened to.

  35. its sad indeed, economic hero

  36. RIP ERICH BLOCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Rest In Peace Mr. Block

  38. RIP Mr Bloch, I throughly enjoed reading your weekly column

  39. Wafa Anaka - Economist oro CA?????

    He used to be a balanced economist (or was he a chartered accountant – the two professions are worlds apart) until the time he joined rbz gravy train. GGG employed him as “advisor” for the sole perpose of silencing the economist-cum-chartered-accountant (I suppose its not possible for one to be a good engineer and good medical doctor at the same time). His later day writings were of watered down quality and can’t remember the last time i read his window-dressing stuff….. he simply lost my respect nearly 10 years ago; anyways where i come from we say wafa anaka……

    1. Hate him or not,the late Mr Bloch was such a fine mentor, an optimist ,a patriot whose clear conscious was his master.RIP .

  40. A decent human being, an avid columnist, a sane economist in a country in economist quagmire. a defiant voice of reason. his voice is silenced, but his legacy lives on. we need people of his calibre in terms of his dedication to duty, integrity and good sense for the good of the country. May he rest in peace.

  41. Just to say what a loss as a nation. He was always there to help the nation. A true Hero indeed. Rest in Peace ERIC BLOCK. CONDOLANCES TO THE ZIMBABWE AND THE FAMILY

  42. never met him but used to read his columns…..yeah he talked sense for some time until he tried to dabble in dubious opposition politics….there he got lost…and he was a Rhodesian wasnt he? very sad indeed but go well sir. Icho!

  43. ah had left something…for those guys who lived through the 1990s,he is one of the the guys who advocated for ESAP…ehe loss of jobs for the masses…lest we forget.

  44. A very inspirational economist. I still remember in my A levels studies as an economics student, how we used to use your columns as reference points in our assignments. May your soul rest in peace. You were such an inspiration to many students especially in Bulawayo.

  45. Hamba kahle Eric

  46. Here was a man who could have handled the ministry of finance with wisdom especially post 2008.A great pillar has collapsed and the country is now poorer without his balanced weekly contributions.My sincere condolences to his family.

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