Former Zimbabwean Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Chris Kuruneri has died.

He was 73.

A family statement released on Sunday indicates that Kuruneri died on Saturday after a lengthy illness.

The family thanked people for the support during this difficult times and however, asked to be given some space and privacy.

“The Kuruneri family is gratefully overwhelmed by the flood of heart-warming messages of condolence, support and love from friends and family.

“The family is asking for some privacy during this very difficult time to deal with their loss.

“We will issue a further notice to announce funeral arrangements once finalised,” reads the statement.

Kuruneri was fired in 2004 on allegations of cash externalisation, he spent 12 months in detention and was later freed by the High Court in 2007.