The per capita GDP of Zimbabwe when independence was declared was under $300. By African standards of the time that might have been better than many (five or six times that of Botswana), compared to the world at the time, it was still very poor. Though I think you’re taking the white Rhodesian view of things a bit too seriously, that only makes the difference between the two countries paths since independence that much more dramatic.
Sadly, the odds of you being right here are extremely high. While we certainly can hope for, and ask the world community to do everything possible to make the transition to true local democratic rule as smooth as possible, the best scenario that is actually likely is that those fighting to fill the power vacuum will quickly kill each other off. Other than those lusting for power, after so many decades of self imposed national suffering, I doubt the population as a whole has much appetite for a prolonged personality cult based war. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t want to be there when whatever happens, happens. The one big positive is that it’s not North Korea. Communications between what goes on in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world is likely to be very robust.