The article reviews the discussion on the issue of land reform within Zimbabwe and the various explanations advanced in the literature of why redistribution of assets in land from the mostly white commercial farmers to the often impoverished black majority has been slower than many expected it to be right after independence was achieved in 1980. Theories relying on interest groups, class, external dependency and state autonomy explanations are discussed. The central point of the article is that the issue of land reform has not been debated within the context of Zimbabwe's change from a strategy of import-substituting industrialisation to one of export-led growth. Thus, the potential function of land reform as an important element in enhancing the success of export-led growth has been lost sight of.