THE co-operation between government newspapers of Zimbabwe and Namibia is becoming increasingly costly to local taxpayers, with NamZim newspapers owing N$8,3 million for setting up and running the regional paper Southern Times, writes Brigitte Weidlich in The Namibian.

"It is uncertain whether this amount is recoverable," Auditor General Junias Kandjeke said in the latest audit report for New Era Publications Corporation, the State entity which publishes the daily paper New Era. Kandjeke's report was tabled in Parliament last week.

The information ministries of both governments agreed about six years ago to jointly set up a weekly newspaper for the southern African region funded with taxpayers' money.

Since then the Southern Times has failed to break even, let alone make a profit.

New Era Publications Corporation advanced the lion's share of the start-up capital and Zimbabwe has failed to repay its debt.

New Era receives an annual Government subsidy of around N$5 million in to cover its running costs.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Namibian's website.