The interview is the most widely used method in a research. An interview is a conversation which purpose is to gather description of an interviewee with respect to the interpretation of meanings of a phenomenon (Kvale 1996). Interviews are systemic way of talking and listening to people (Weiss) and it is another way to collect data from individuals through conversations.
As a methodology like any other research, interviews have some negative and positive aspects. When conducting interviewing in the case of Kenya post-election violence researcher might face the number of challenges which include biasness, time consuming, ethical issues. Deficiency of prior interviewing experience can be most important obstacle to highly-quality data collection using interviews. However, issues such as phrasing of questions or tone variation can have the massive effect on how interviewees respond.
As aforementioned, interview can be prone to a form of bias where the person being interviewed answers questions in a way which they think the questionnaire wants from them (Weiss, R)The bias is anything in the design or execution of the study that may impact on the truthfulness of the findings. It is important for a researcher to maintain eye contact during the interview. (Bryman)Doing an interview in a country like Kenya were ethnicity plays a more important role than democracy, a researcher must be familiar with the interested area because the respondents are also inclined to a certain political group thus leaving no room get accurate data. Kalenjin-Kikuyu were the most affected by the 1992 and 2007 election violence and as a researcher you need to be familiar with the area to conduct a research. Some victims who accept to be interviewed require security and by doing so some has to flee outside the country for their safety. In the volatile region of Rift valley, you must be ready to face rejection.
Their culture ascribes researchers as an intruder who wants to exploit them. Researchers have to employ good rapport in order to be accepted. Going down by what happened in the 2007 post-election violence, witnesses were forced to recant their statements citing security and intimidation. Precisely, in March 2010 the pre-trial made a decision by allowing the prosecutor to conduct an investigation of crimes committed during the post-election violence. The international criminal court (ICC) issued summons to appear against six individuals. Each individual was charged with crimes against humanity. The cases were grouped into two (Journalists for Justice / December 2016)The first involved the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party associated with current Deputy President William Ruto, former agriculture minister Henry Kosgey alongside journalist Joshua Sang related to violence committed against perceived supporters of Party of National Unity (PNU).
the victims were predominantly from Kikuyu, Kisii and Kamba communities living in Eldoret. Similarly. The second case was against the current President Uhuru Muhigai Kenyatta, the former, police commissioner Mohammad Hussain Ali alongside former head of civil service Francis Muthaura related to violence committed against perceived supporters of ODM. The victims were predominantly from Kalenjin, Luo and Luyha communities living in Nakuru and Naivasha (Burchard, S.M p.333). On such sceneries the prosecutor was faced with many obstacles to conduct proper investigations to build the cases. In May 2013, the prosecutor announced she was withdrawing the charges against Francis Muthaura.
Her reasons included that some witnesses had die or were afraid to testify. The recruitment of victims, intimidations, lack of cooperation and insufficient funds to conduct the research. these all undermines researcher conducting a proper research.